Seven years hath passed since the last release action from NewZild's most noted crafters of classic (as in some of sort of ‘70s-inspired grunge-metal meets garage) rock.
And two whole decades are done and dusted since they took the Northern Hemisphere by storm, scoring a Peel session and an NME cover and touring the States and heading back to hit Australia & New Zealand for a Big Day Out tour and leading the back-to-rock charge at the beginning of the millennium alongside the White Stripes, The Hives and The Strokes. And while time has not stood still, it hasn’t slowed them one bit either – The Datsuns are now making the best music they’ve ever made.
Album number seven Eye to Eye has a varied stylistic grasp across its 11 tunes. It wraps the locomotive chug of classic Ian Gillan/Ritchie Blackmore-helmed Deep Purple - seasoned nicely with generous servings of Jon Lord keyboard surge - to some updated glam space boogie power chordage. Dolf comes across like some bastard offspring of Marc Bolan and Alice Cooper (and sounds at time a ringer for Redd Kross’ Jeff McDonald); there are some otherworldly fantastical floating melodies wafting in & out of this selection of tracks, and the Alice sneer & snarl is there on the more heart-pounding tunes. The guitar effects and greater keyboard dosage pepper the tunes with new flavours; let us not forget the contribution here of lead Datsun instrumentalist, Christian Livingstone, who has laboured intently, fine tuning freaked fuzz frequencies and space-age squeal and a host of other soaring dogfighting & dive-bombing tones, for the instrumental breaks and beds of the album. If the tone and attack are the primary responsibilities Mr Livingstone bears, the dynamics and tempo rest in the mitts of them other Datsun three. Guitarist "Windmill" Phil Somervell brings his rhythmic chops & noted arm flailin', to underscore the light & shade of the riffage; Ben "Poundin' Soul" Cole machine guns the rolls, and hits the timing twists & turns when required; Master de Borst locks in his bass walkin', & talkin', stuttering & strutting preposterously on cue.
Eye To Eye is an album entrenched in the past, remodelled for the future, one unknown and uncertain more than ever.
“Raw 60s garage and psych-rock singles, late 70s punk, New Wave keyboards, souped-up 70s hard rock- all of these musical strands still twine through the new Eye To Eye album. It’s a scream. There are big hairy scuzz-rock riffs and sci-fi synths bolted to machine-gun snare rolls, the whole shebang then strafed with squiggles of lead-guitar squeal. There are songs that sound like Hawkwind playing Deep Purple covers, or Kiss jamming with Motorhead. Hats are doffed to The Ramones, MC5, David Bowie, The Who. The pachouli-scented spirit of T. Rex’s Marc Bolan hovers over one mutant electric-boogie shuffle.”
- Grant Smithies, Sunday Star Times.
"Neatly turned fuzz-caked riffs and shouty choruses keep the hooks coming" - Uncut
"busting out electrifying riff-action, sci-fi squeals and anthemic primal howls in their own signature manner." - Undertheradar