Kiwis and Aussies have held the torch for hard rock while the light has faded in the Northern Hemisphere. New Zealand band The Datsuns join contemporaries Jet and Silverchair with a â€šÃ„Ã²70s inspired garage rock sound. Think Bad Company without the raspy vocals. Recently released fourth album Headstunts is self-produced with brash swagger.Opening track â€šÃ„ÃºHuman Errorâ€šÃ„Ã¹ sets the tone with fast and rowdy riffs. The album is full of indulgent, metal-esque guitar solos on songs â€šÃ„ÃºSomebody Better,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºSo Longâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºYeah, Yeah, Just Another Mistake.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The intro of the latter sounds similar to The Stooges â€šÃ„ÃºI Wanna Be Your Dog.â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºEye of the Needleâ€šÃ„Ã¹ contains an accretion of instrumental sounds, with the drummer riding the hi-hat. It is an interesting hallucinogenic track. If only the vocals werenâ€šÃ„Ã´t so matte it would be great. Download worthy songs are â€šÃ„ÃºReady, Set, Go!â€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºCruel Cruel Fate,â€šÃ„Ã¹ both catchy and pogo danceable.
Headstunts is visceral but squeals more than rocks. It is an invigorating resurgence of the genre but unfortunately there arenâ€šÃ„Ã´t enough hooks that stick with the listener to make it a classic album.