The Datsuns – The Datsuns
By Joe Vallejos
Many people are of the vacuous, gullible sort – the kind that believes whatever they read. In selecting new music to purchase, they typically find a few critics or publications they tend to agree with, devour review after review as if it’ gospel and go out and buy everything they think they’re “supposed to.”
Here at Nada Mucho, we believe in giving our readers the straight poop. Several reviews of The Datsun’s self-titled album would, for the most part, have the reader believing this New Zealand quartet is part of the most-recent “garagerock” resurgence characterized by The Strokes and The Hives, among others. This is totally untrue. These days, I guess all a band needs to do to be lumped in with these much better groups is to actually play their instruments.
By this line of thinking, I guess we might as well mention Creed in the same breath. They play guitar-based rock music derived from decades-old influences, right? Cause when the final vote is in, neither sound like White Stripes or Hives. The Datsuns are a straight-ahead rock band that take their cues from the likes of 70s guitar bands like AC/DC and Deep Purple as opposed to The Stooges or The Ramones. Not much punk, just garage.
The band (Christian Datsun, Dolf de Datsun, Matt Datsun and Phil (you guessed it) Datsun) has taken their classes in Guitar Rock 101. They have the blueprint of what a classic rock song is supposed to be down pat, using the two choruses + string-tickling guitar solo + big rock ending = anthem prescription for each song. These are the kind of songs that you could have held your lighter up for as The Datsuns opened for Foghat at your local arena in 1978. Here’s the rub: every song sounds the same and you’re totally spent by track five. Songs like “Sittin’ Pretty” and “Harmonic Generator” sport strutting riffs that get the album off to a decent enough start, but after a couple more songs you’ve experienced everything The Datsuns has to offer.
The lyrics are delivered with squeals that sound like a Bon Scott imitator thatâ€™s been hit in the nuts. The words are as trivial and testosterone-filled as you would imagine. Take this example from “Harmonic Generator.”
Wearing next to nothing she’s out of control
She likes to shake what she got from her head to her toe
She got big yellow eyes lighting up like Xmas
Turning tricks baby
A Harmonic Generator Intermodulator
Come on let’s shake it down
Like that Harmonic Generator
Here we go I said…
Yeah, yeah, yeah
And that’s from one of the good songs!
In fact, the only thing this band has in common with The Strokes or The Hives is the “The” in their name. The Datsuns is the kind of album you might pull out at a party when people want to rock, but it’ll only be presented in small doses, and not before we’ve gotten our small helping of Poison and slightly larger portion of Def Leppard. Any more than that and I might as well grow back my mullet and dive back into buttrock headfirst. – (4/10)