Hyperbole will only get a band so far. If they're unable to back up their press clippings with righteous doses of rock 'n' roll mayhem, they're likely to fade from view quicker than George Michael's head at a rest stop. Bona fide press darlings from day one, New Zealand rock pigs the Datsuns have lived on the strength of their hyperactive live shows and penchant for glitter-gargling depravity, and are currently riding a wave of hype big enough to swallow the Stripes, the Strokes and the Vines whole.
Unerringly tuneful and impudently anti-ironic, the group's self-titled debut is a taut slab of vicious insincerity. Head banshee Dolf DeDatsun routinely sounds as though he's being dragged behind a bus by his larynx, and his exaggerated shriek, coupled with the band's powerhammer delivery, is both his group's greatest asset and their major pitfall. Their rehashed rawk riffage is relentlessly enthralling, but their beat-you-over-the-head scream-tactics lend themselves to a sludgy sameness that, by album's end, has worn its welcome pencil-thin.
Many will argue that The Datsuns' retrophonic tendencies render them utterly inept, but it's hard to ignore the chest-thumping valor of "Lady" and "Fink for the Man", or the blitzkrieg thunder of "Motherfucker from Hell". Once you've come to terms with that fact that they're not going to kill you with witty lyrical barbs, or incorporate elements of Tibetan folk into their sound, the hand-grenade-on-a-rope swagger of "Harmonic Generator" and sinusoidal heaviness of "Sittin' Pretty" are much more enjoyable. Though the guttural screams and blazing guitars flatline when The Datsuns hit "In Love" and "You Build Me Up (to bring me down)", the album scores a white-hot enema as dirtbike guitars and frenzied pummeling shock closer "Freeze Sucker" back to life. The Datsuns never quite captures the catastrophic nature of the group's live show, but it establishes The Datsuns as a whirlwind force to be reckoned with.
Don't take the sinners' and the cynics' word for it -- take it upon yourself to investigate The Datsuns' primordial ardor.