Scene News: The Datsuns premiere Sci-Fi inspired, dystopian riff rockin’ ‘Dehumanise’ video, directed by Sam Kristofski

THE DATSUNS Release ‘Dehumanise’ video + ‘Suspicion’ released as limited edition 7” + Limited edition white version of Eye To Eye album now available.

‘Dehumanise’ is the third single to be released from the new album EYE TO EYE from New Zealand’s Lords of Loud, The Datsuns. 

Emotions railing against the system. A homogenous future, devoid of the very thing that makes man, man. Freedom & individualism are outcast. The here & now is a seething, twisted mass. The Datsuns strap those feelings to some rock & roll. “Dehumanise” is stomping three chord-age, dive bombing stun gun lead, a bed of surging Hammond keys, stair tumbling stop/start riddims. Key tinkling, fat fuzz wah & squeal.

“Dehumanise is another Sci-Fi inspired number, about being literally stripped down to your utilitarian parts by the machines and machinations around you. The main parts were written on tour, opening for Graveyard in Europe some years back. I was listening to a ton of heavy 70’s rarities at the time, sampling their drum intros in Garageband to make demos. This one features more custom fuzz guitar FX courtesy of Christian and also my first attempt at a synth solo, wild!” – Dolf Datsun 

Directed by Sam Kristofski, an accompanying video for the Sci-Fi inspired, dystopian riff rocker is released today.

Says Sam, “I shot this clip with expired reversal black and white film which was hand-processed here in NZ. I then painted all the colours into the film using a number of different pens and inks frame by frame. I also used a bunch of blades and tools to scratch into the film and create things like lightning effects and lines. Len Lye was one of the first people in the world to use this effect on film before colour film was a common thing. He was from Christchurch and took the film to New York, so this technique is really a strong part of New Zealand’s film history. It would have been one of the first accounts of projected colour film.”  

The second single to be taken from the album, the heavy psych track ‘Suspicion’ has also belatedly been released as a limited edition 7”. And, the bands seventh studio album Eye To Eye will be released as a limited edition white version.


“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.”
– 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 

“Eye to Eye just proves The Datsuns will forever be the coolest ticket in town” –

“A huge sounding, heavy riffing and fun rock and roll record” -Loud Magazine 

“Seven years in the making, but it sounds seamless and fresh and it touches on many classic periods of Rock (& Roll).” – 13th Floor.

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, leading the back-to-rock charge at the beginning of the millennium alongside The White Stripes and The Hives. That was when they scored a Peel Session and an NME cover; when they toured Europe and the States and headed back to hit Aus & NZ for the Big Day Out; when they played the main stage at Ozzfest and toured with Metallica. And while time has not stood still, it hasn’t slowed them down either – The Datsuns are now making the best music they’ve ever made.

Released May 28 on Hellsquad through MGM on LP, CD and digital formats, seventh album 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. There there are some otherworldly fantastical floating melodies wafting in & out, and 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 Dolf de Borst locks in his bass walkin’, & talkin’, stuttering & strutting preposterously on cue.

The Datsuns were always more over-the-top than their new millenium rock contemporaries. And less gimmicky. They came from a heavier place;  heavy in the early ‘70s use of the term, but with a garage-rock rawness and a punk-inspired energy and pace. Heavy music of course has never stayed fashionable for lengthy periods, and The Datsuns paid the price; after smashing it with their self-titled first album, the fickle tastemakers of the time decided that their second album – produced by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones no less, and in many ways anticipating Jones’ return to rock alongside Josh Homme and Dave Grohl in Them Crooked Vultures – was just so much more old hat. They duly retreated from the limelight as new trends emerged, but they never gave it up. More albums followed, and more tours. Tours of New Zealand. Tours of Japan. Tours of Europe. All managed despite beingspread across hemispheres, with front man Dolf de Borst an honorary Swede (and also a member of both the legendary action rock trailblazers The Hellacopters and  Hellacopters’ power pop rock spin-off Imperial State Electric), and guitarist Christian Livingstone living in London and making guitar FX pedals. 

Having stuck it out through the leans times, The Datsuns return to the fray now as new variations on their preferred themes of heavy music – new forms of garage, psych and metal, and cross-pollinations of the lot –  have established new audiences.

Check out our interview with Phil Somervell: