There are bands that are loud and raucous and then there are DZ Deathrays, a band who obliterate all expectations with an endearing commitment to making nothing but thrilling punk rock. DZ Deathrays are a band that have garnered quite a reputation for an extremely intense live show. Therefore, it is a surprise that on an overpoweringly muggy evening in the sweaty and cramped confines of Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s club, that the Australian duo of guitarist Shane Parsons and drummer Simon Ridley are met with a disappointingly sparse crown. If anything, the small audience inspires the band to work extra hard though to rouse the crowd out of their soporific early summer slumber and the duo deliver a crushingly powerful set full of high-octane punk rock thrills.
Onstage DZ Deathrays are a mass of flailing limbs and hair all coalescing into one great rock and roll organism. Everything is amped up to the extreme. Tracks from their recently released debut album Bloodstreams are dispensed with a ragged insouciance. The riffs twist and turn unexpectedly, best exemplified on the unrelenting No Sleep. Shane Parsons’ vocals are largely intelligible throughout resembling a range of coruscating screams, wails and howls. The band made their name playing house parties (and indeed anywhere they could plug in their amps in their hometown of Brisbane) and they still retain that DIY attitude turning every show they play into a glorified house party which serves them well in an intimate venue like this.
There are some concessions to rock ‘n’ roll indulgence though as the band are backed by a dazzling light show that provides a striking counterpoint to their breathless aggression. By the end of their set and the crunching riffs of closer Teeth, the band seem lost in their haze of noise and feedback. The small crowd are content that they have seen something a little bit special and a whole lot of fun. It seems that DZ Deathrays are still something of an undiscovered gem but there is no doubt that they are a rock band destined for far greater pastures.