DZ’s sound still feels like it wants to tear down a house, but this time it just feels like they’ll do it in a more methodical way.

Black Ratopens by punching you in the face. The amount of energy and noise that pours out of this album from the word ‘go’ is incredible, but of course, after getting kicked off a Texan rock festival for playing too loud, DZ Deathrays do have a reputation to maintain.

What’s interesting about this second album is how much DZ Deathrays have honed their art. Where their debut album Bloodstreams was bombastic and out of control, Black Rat feels controlled and focused. There’s a new layer of maturity to the band without losing a single ounce of its youthful energy.

After the title track hits you on the chin, the rest of the album works over the rest of your body. I have no doubt that if ‘Gina Works At Hearts’ were a light show, we would all be suffering seizures, while ‘Reflective Skull’ possesses a beat and bass that could break bones.

It’s impressive how the duo manages to maintain a consistent level of controlled energy throughout the album. The band’s musicianship and songwriting skills are clear for all. Black Rat is, quite simply, a powerful and totally impressive second release from the Brisbane thrash-pop outfit. More please.


Black Rat is out now through I Oh You.

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