Timeless Rock Classic?

first_imgThe Datsuns Outta Sight/Outta Mind The brazen simplicity of The Datsuns’ self-titled first album (2002) seemed cleverly-timed. Not being modish, knowing or subtle made them attractive to rock fans seeking spanking riffs without an overdose of thought. And after two years of touring, their second studio album reveals that The Datsuns really weren’t joking – they just like rock music. Outta Sight/Outta Mind begins with ‘Blacken My Thumb.’ With a relentless tempo and throwaway riffing, it’s a good summary of what they do. As you listen to the eleven subsequent tracks on the album, it becomes clear that they don’t do much else. Bossy vocals and riffdriven arrangements will certainly be enough to satisfy those listeners looking for a return to the days when a rock and roll attitude was nothing to be ashamed of. But they seem to be taking their influences more seriously this time. They have ex-Led Zeppelin band member John Paul Jones producing. Despite this promising collaboration, their take on classic rock has regressed from their early-career highlight ‘Harmonic Generator.’ They also claim to offer a more considered attitude to songwriting. Lead singer Dolf de Datsun (real name Rudolph de Borst) describes Outta Sight/Outta Mind as “an album of stories.” But lyrics are not as carefully constructed as this might suggest; instead, they sing loudly about some things that have happened to them. He is even honest about their flightiness, describing the band as “constantly running from one drama or another.” Light relief can be found in ‘Girls Best Friend’. This song and “What I’ve lost” distinguish themselves by offering some lyrical depth. Dolf has commented, “I really love the idea that albums can be time capsules, that when you listen to that album you hear where the band were at, at that point in time.” Anyone digging up Outta Sight/Outta Mindsome time in the future would struggle to discover much at all about where The Datsuns were ‘at’. As Dolf reminds us in ‘Messin’ Around,’ “If it’s pure and it’s simple, doesn’t make it right.” A variation on a theme is fine but the Datsuns fail to provide enough interest to make their high-intensity guitar sound worthwhile over the course of an album.ARCHIVE: 6th week TT 2004last_img

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