ALBUM REVIEW: DZ Deathrays – Positive Rising, Part 1

Release Date: August 30th 2019
Label: Alcopop! Records


After only a year since the release of their much-loved third studio album, ‘Bloody Lovely’, Australian outfit DZ Deathrays are embracing change in more ways than one on their newest record, ‘Positive Rising, Part 1’.

Having expanded from a duo to trio with the addition of guitarist Lachlan Ewbank, the group continue to grow musically, as the album title reveals, with the first part of what is set to be an ambitious double album.

Over the past ten years, the DZ duo had become well-established with their own brand of dance-meets-doom punk, and while much of that can be found here, it’s not hard to hear how they’re simultaneously aiming to reach new sonic heights and expand their sound beyond its common facet. The addition of a new member no doubt includes an influx of bright ideas, as exemplified here in a record that re-brands the band as much as it does relay their previous musical exploits.

Right from the opener ‘Hi Everyone’ – a meta track that welcomes in listeners – there’s a duality of sound on display, as gentle, echoing guitar leads and large, glossy harmonies (the multitude of members already showing its presence in that) filter into a stomping anthem, setting precedent for what’s to follow.

‘Positive Rising, Part 1’ is quite a busy record with plenty buzzing about throughout, yet there’s certainly a more-rounded indie fizz that fits snugly like a jumper over their punk past. ‘Still No Change’ adds in indie rock textures that slaps on a buzzing, rushing chorus; lead single ‘In-To-It’ is an angst-ridden, “give a shit” anti-anything punk banger; while ‘Hypercolour’ turns the intensity down for a more melodic, reservedly dark moment; and the short, snappy ‘Nightmare Wrecker’ revisits a summer-rock number that the group seem to so effortlessly create.

‘Year Of The Dog’, featuring the snarling vocals from The Bronx‘s own Matt Caughthran, is the finest blend of indie and punk, with a descending melody that reeks of earlier Arctic Monkeys, while the bite of punk tones adds a DZ dimension that’s a complete winner.

For a dance-punk band, ‘Positive Rising, Part 1’ feels inherently more of a dark-indie record to their more naturally described style – a change that feels both fitting and successful, with their tweaked sound well-suited to the group’s imaginative and dynamic songwriting and instrumentation. With yet another album soon on the horizon, this should leave fans feeling excited for what comes next.