Dolf: Vocals, bass guitar
Christian: Lead guitar, background vocals
Phil: Rhythm guitar, background vocals
"The Datsuns" is the selftitled debut album from 2002 of The Datsuns, a band from New Zealand. Back then there was a big hype about them in the UK, caused by cover stories in the NME. This album contains 10 kick-ass, guitar driven rock'n'roll songs which remind a lot of the 70s. The band manages to combine classic hardrock like AC/DC with the punk'n'roll from Scandinavia. You won't find any big innovations here. It's only about rockin', for 39 minutes, full time. All the songs are very riff-based and pretty straight forward. Loud, dirty, and right to the bones, with a lead guitar player that kicks out amazing solos in each song, maybe a bit reminiscent of Jimmy Page. The often shouted and little distorted lyrics with the right attitude also add to this. All carried by a tight rhythm section. This album manages to catch the experience of a live show with no minute to rest. Most lyrics are about women, love, etc... you get the point.
But let's do this song by song.
(On their website http://www.thedatsuns.com you can listen to every single song they ever released in full length)
The opener starts with a very raw sounding guitar riff including a wah wah effect. The message is nothing special, but from the speed and the two guitar solos you get a hint what the rest of the album is about. 3.5/5
MF From Hell
This is definetely one of the highlights here and was also released as a single. The great guitar riff gets you right away. It's all about the changing feelings caused by a girl, from the bottom to the top with Dolf shouting in the chorus "Damm woman she make me oh so blue, Like a Motherfucker from hell". Both chorus and verses are spiced up by cool lead guitar licks. Finally an amazing guitar solo, I love it! 5/5
This one was already released before the album as a 7". The title says it all. "Lady, Take me back. What you want you might get". Stomping drums and bass, rather primitive riff, and a catchy hookline. But it rocks, and that's what matters. Another fine solo and some nice licks in the outro. 4/5
You might have heard this song, it was the second single and got some airplay. Harmonic Generator is a guitar effect pedal (built by Paul Crowther, you can search for it). It's beginning is rather slow and again with a stomping rhythm. The chorus features female background vocals. The song really takes off with the freaking second guitar solo, where Christian uses the Harmonic Generator pedal. Solo until the end... 4.5/5
What Would I Know
This song is the first of two which is longer than five minutes, and the reason for this is of course a nice beautiful guitar solo. Dolf sings about a girl that just confuses him and he doesn't know what to do. He knows she ain't good for him but can't really refuse her. The mood of this whole song seems desperate. In the middle it's the first time it gets a bit quiet and slower on this record. Followed by a heavier screaming part which leads to the longer and wonderful guitar solo, with a repeating and varied theme, each time building up itself even more. 5/5
At Your Touch
The only song, I don't love that much like the rest of the album. But I can't really tell why. The guitar riff is doubled by an organ, you can hear it the whole time through. It's also one of the faster ones. Big part of the vocals are screamed, and Dolf seems to be really suffering. In the middle a longer, but not really surprising instrumental part. Another chorus and another solo and we have the next song. 3/5
Fink For The Man
So here's one of the best songs. It starts out with quiet guitar feedback und a heavy drum beat. Dolf screams "Yeah, come on!" and the guitar begins, it gets really loud and fast and makes you bang your head. The lyrics seem to be really angry: "But you dont give a damn, You're just a fink for the man". The obligatory solo is played by both guitars at the same time unisono, which results in a very interesting sound. After that, a rather quiet drum and bass part. Here usually the first jam session of their live show takes off. Here the guitars set in again, building up, Dolf screaming, another chorus, and heading for the amazing second solo. Again both guitars but not playing the same. You will find yourself playing air guitar... 5/5
Back to business. "Hey, I feel lonely. But I got so many different women on my mind". Typical rock'n'roll clichee lyrics. Another time supported by female background singers (the two girls of Detroit's The Von Bondies). The vocals are really present here and make you sing along and will stay in your mind for some time. The song itself is rather simple, but it's the very melodic but short solo and the catchyness here that do it for me. 4/5
You Build Me Up (To Bring Me Down)
The guitar riff reminds of the one in "At Your Touch", which is my first impression. "You build me up, To bring me down. You build me up, So you can mess around". It's all about the bad women in this world, hahaa. The wah wah guitar solo copies the melody of the chorus vocals, but isn't as amazing as in other songs. 3.5/5
A really great finish to this album, and probably the best song on it, as it combines all the features of the other songs. Starting with drums and some guitar jamming, it soon leads into a really cool riff. An uptempo rocking monster, wild and without compromises. Screamed, distorted and angry vocals, a first guitar solo, chorus, a calmer jamming part, another chorus and more screaming and finally culminating in a beautiful und boosting instrumental part. Six minutes and one second on the record, live often more than ten minutes. 5/5
In short words: it's just rock'n'roll. Not more and not less. It's rocking straight to the point and will get you from the first second if you're into that kind of music (you shouldn't dislike Christian's amazing guitar solos).
Overall rating: 4.5/5