Star Scene: Phil Somervell ~ THE DATSUNS

Phil Somervell chats to Mary Boukouvalas about The Datsuns’ latest release, EYE TO EYE.

THEY’RE BACK! THE DATSUNS, TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY RETURN-TO-ROCK RIFF-MEISTERS, RELEASE MIND-MELDING NEW SINGLE “BRAIN TO BRAIN” AND ANNOUNCE MAY 28 RELEASE OF SEVENTH STUDIO ALBUM EYE TO EYE!

New Zealand’s Lords of Loud return with first new music in 7 years, and a crazed ‘70s science documentary-styled video!

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.
New single “Brain to Brain”, available with non-LP B-side “Waking up Slow” as a limited edition vinyl 7″ (red or black) and digitally, is the first of many treats to be unveiled from The Datsuns’ forthcoming new album EYE TO EYE. An electrifying sci-f rocker, it’s the catchiest tune they’ve ever unleashed, and the video is equally arresting. Shot remotely through the lock down by NZ director Marc Swadel (who now resides in London, who has worked with The Chemical Brothers, Stone Roses, Sparks, and Thurston Moore), the video is styled after a 70’s science documentary-type film and features London-based singer/DJ/model Iraina Mancini getting a input jack implanted in her skull so she can get Dr de Borst‘s electrifying riffage DI’ed direct into her brain…

(Marc Swadel relays “‘Brain to Brain’ is a great stonking rock track – with a classic 70’s vibe. “So I had the idea of making a crazy 70’s style science documentary film – complete with loud clothing and dodgy experiment footage, a scuzzy old school feel, and in-camera effects. I am really happy with it – You would never know that the band were all over the world under lockdown and never in the same room for this video. And it rocks!”)

Click to watch and share “Brain To Brain” video.
Due May 28 on Hellsquad through MGM, and released on LP, CD and digital formats, forthcoming 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.

The Datsuns’ mind-blowing new music is entrenched in the past but remodelled for the future, one unknown & now more uncertain than ever. Dig first single “Brain To Brain” and set yourself for more goodies before EYE TO EYE lands in three months’ time.

New single ‘Brain to Brain’
“‘Brain To Brain’ is the first song we wrote for our new album, Eye To Eye back in 2016. It’s a very “Datsuns” type song, if there is such a thing? Pop sensibilities masked behind noise and high energy for two and a half minutes. Excellent guitar action from Phil via Christian’s wonderful world of custom FX. It’s about taking a huge step back from our digital worlds in order to preserve one’s sanity. We have so many amazing toys to communicate with each other but it often feels we don’t get it right, so much gets twisted. There’s a fascination in watching one another bare our souls and devour each other for entertainment that’s kind of horrifying.”
– Dolf Datsun
Buy or stream “Brain to Brain” from your preferred music service!
Pre-order or pre-save EYE TO EYE from your preferred music service!
THE DATSUNS‘ NEW SINGLE “BRAIN TO BRAIN” (WITH NON-LP B-SIDE “WAKING UP SLOW” IS OUT TODAY ON LTD EDITION 7″ (IN RED OR BLACK VINYL) & DIGITAL!THE DATSUNS‘ NEW ALBUM EYE TO EYE IS OUT ON LP, CD & DIGITAL, MAY 28!

ON HELLSQUAD RECORDS THROUGH MGM

EYE TO EYE Tracklist:
1. Dehumanise
2. Warped Signals
3. White Noise Machine
4. Sweet Talk
5. Brain to Brain
6. Moongazer
7. Bite My Tongue
8. Raygun
9. Suspicion
10. Other People’s Eyes
11. In Record Time

About Mary Boukouvalas 1275 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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