DZ Deathrays – Black Rat


Artist

Album

Black Rat

Label

IOHYOU

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Royal Blood

Summary

A strong progression for the duo's sophomore record.

Rating

91 / 100

Genre can be an incredibly detracting concept. If a band becomes bound by it, as many do, it restricts freedom, and chokes creativity. However, when a band refuses to be defined and placed inside of the box and embraces progression, incredible things can happen. The latest release from DZ Deathrays, ‘Black Rat,’ is a prime example of this. While maintaining something of the signature sound established on ‘Bloodstreams’, the record breaks down any boundaries that we may have placed around the Brisbane duo to truly show us what they are capable of producing.

Opening with the title track, the record hits hard and fast from the get-go. But after the initial punch, the track seems to relent and allow for a stronger sense of melody to shine through than what we’ve heard previously from the duo. The same can be said about ‘Gina Works at Hearts’, the second single released. The greater changes on the full-length aren’t nearly as simple as these tracks though.

Tracks like ‘Keep Myself on Edge’ and ‘Fixations’ add something of a more atmospheric feeling to the duo’s sound, with the latter also showing a strong electronic influence, with a more stripped back approach taken in the writing. Lead single ‘Northern Lights is by far the most ‘left-of-field’ moment on the record though. While standing alone, the track seems a bit shocking from the Deathrays, In the context of ‘Black Rat,’ however, not only does the track make sense, but it feels like a vital part of the album and the progression of the group’s sound as a whole.

Along with ‘Ocean Exploder’, ‘Reflective Skull’ helps to bridge the gap between ‘Bloodstreams’ and ‘Black Rat.’ For die hard fans of previous DZ material, these songs will likely be favourites. However, ‘Tonight Alright’ stakes a fairly strong claim as the standout track of the album, building off a catchy guitar riff that will work its way into the bones of any listener and have you moving along.

Conclusion

DZ Deathrays didn’t have anything to prove with this album. Heck, they already showed us that they were capable of fantastic things with ‘Bloodstreams.’ Regardless, they’ve certainly raised the bar with ‘Black Rat.’ One can only wonder how far that bar will be raised again in the future.

Tracklisting

  1. Black Rat
  2. Gina Works At Hearts
  3. Less Out Of Sync
  4. Reflective Skull
  5. Keep Myself on Edge
  6. Northern Lights
  7. Nightwalking
  8. Fixations
  9. Ocean Exploder
  10. Tonight Alright
  11. Night Slave

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