The band say that they took their name from the Japanese car, you know, the one that became Nissan you youngsters. Anyway, the Datsun ads in the back of National Geographic magazine tickled their funny bones and they adopted the name. It makes sense considering the riffs on first track, “Blacken My Thumb,” sound more like a car commercial than a Jimmy Page homage. Of course, these days, they’re one and the same. Their sound, and this is indeed accurate, is a supposed mix of punk and blues rock, as if the boys in Zeppelin had grown up as punks in the late seventies.
The kind of rock the Datsuns play is dirty, ripped jeans, six pack, truck driving rock. They stole the Ramones gimmick, adding the surname Datsun to their given names, while their music is much more along the lines of AC/DC and other hard rock seventies acts. Rather than the surface of the Ramones and the depth of cock rock, it might have been more interesting the other way around. Maybe that’s why The Darkness is so popular.
Outta Sight / Outta Mind is the band’s sophomore album release and this time they’ve enlisted the help of half of Zeppelin’s rhythm section, John Paul Jones. Even his help wasn’t enough to save this album from the trash pile of “Freedom Rock.” Take a listen to “Cherry Lane,” in title and sound nothing but a Spinal Tap ripoff. And when you steal from a parody, well, that’s just a cry for help. Maybe the movie plays as a documentary in New Zealand, the Datsuns’ homeland.
There are bound to be a lot of comparisons with their neighbors Jet and with the Swedes of The Hives. The biggest difference between the three, because both Jet and the Hives steal also from the Beatles and the Stooges respectively, is the frontman. Cameron Muncey and Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist have a charisma and style that stand out, even amidst blatant theft. The Datsuns’s lead singer, Dolph Datsun, is somewhat lacking in that area.
“Hong Kong Fury” is a hard rock version of the Hong Kong Phooey theme song. Huh? So maybe the lyrics are different, but the chorus is exactly the same minus the #1 Super Guy second line. Is there nothing original about the Datsuns? Not really. It’s polished and well produced and loud and there’s nothing really wrong with that, it just needs something more. I’m sure that they can find success, maybe in touring with Jet on an “Oceanian” tour, playing to oversexed beer swilling young fraternity men who equate wailing guitars and screaming with manliness. But for that to have even more success, they should change their name to the Hummers. It’s a macho car as well as a sexual reference and they can even keep the gimmick of the last name.
Spinal Tap- This is Spinal Tap
Spinal Tap- Break Like the Wind