Complete with a new guitarist, DZ Deathrays smashed the Kazimier Garden, Getintothis’ Adam Forster was there to pick up the pieces.
Showing off their newly recruited lead guitarist and surely some of the tastiest looking pedalboards to ever be stomped into the garden stage, Aussie duo DZ Deathrays brought their thrash-pop sound to the Kazimier Garden, carving their mark into the city.
First up were Widnes trio Aeroplane Flies High, who take their name from the lesser known Smashing Pumpkins track. Their minimalist licks and runs are reminiscent of The Breeders but are less depressive and with a higher tempo. As another decent metal/pop fusion group who aren’t interested in guitars with less than six strings, they kicked things off well.
The bar has certainly been busier on a muggy late-summer evening as it becomes clear that an amiable division exists in the crowd. Kids in their late teens dressed like extras in My So-Called Life that would mouth every lyric for the next half hour, and middle-aged couples just tending towards the Metallica aesthetic. Never has the term thrash-pop been clearer. It was quiet but the mood was good as the two guitarists tuned up and the occasional Australian-lilted vowel broke out from the crowds’ low-chatter.
They open with Black Rat, the title-track from their most recent LP, and it’s immediately clear why a bassist would be superfluous. Parson’s (sporting his ubiquitous ‘FOAM’ tee) strong root notes in the verses, made deep and thunderous by heavy distortion, creates a groove that is more than sufficient.
After playing a couple more from the latest record, Ridley taps out a few capable beats to signal No Sleep from their first full length release, and the nostalgia is a shot in the arm for the dedicated youngsters. At this point and after having been introduced, the new guitarist left the stage to let the founding couple jam through their older stuff. The Black Rat record is largely regarded as the point at which DZ Deathrays outgrew their reputation as “trash party” heroes (their first EP was recorded entirely at a house party). The change in depth is clear as in the first fifteen minutes we’ve gone from its title-track to 2011’s Brutal Tape’s Gebbie Street.
It’s nothing short of extremely competent though, and the metal foundations come through in the doom-laden down-strokes and tremolo picking. Things kicked off a bit as the opening notes of The Mess Up from the 2009 EP Ruined My Life fuzzed out from the stack. It’s a pretty basic yet properly decent early number and the video has the two necking a bottle of Jagermeister in three minutes, while Ridley spews brown vomit.
They’re finally back to a threesome again, as they announced it’ll be new tracks bringing us home to the end of the set. Northern Lights, Reflective Skull and Gina Works at Hearts with no sign of an encore. They leave the stage abruptly as a string rings out from an unmanned guitar.
Both young and old(er) are pleased with it all anyhow. It was as though for the past half hour it had been a house-party, all just starting to get into mischief but with the impossible gift of knowing that things would never really get too heavy.
Pictures by Getintothis‘ Gaz Jones