A review of a “The” band is written not by choice, but by necessity. These days it seems as though if these bands” albums WEREN’T reviewed, music criticism would be a lost art.
Since you never get a second chance to make a first impression, leadoff track from The Datsuns” Outta Sight/Outta Mind, “Blacken My Thumb” will be the blueprint, the point of reference. Guitars. And lots of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœem, high in the mix. At first I thought “hmm … Soundgarden playing Ramones songs?” A quick look at the album art revealed two things: four long haired gents walking off in their denim/leather jackets into the woods, and the words “Produced by John Paul Jones” on the back. Maybe I’m onto something.
The Datsuns are certainly a retro act, like Jet and the White Stripes before them. Since this is their second album (and their first to be getting more airplay) it may seem as though they are latecomers to the retro-garage-rock scene. Unfortunately, while the White Stripes emphasize songwriting and production, and Jet emphasizes fun and aping AC/DC, The Datsuns focus on uninteresting riff-rock and lyrics that make Dee Dee Ramone seem like Voltaire.
Jones’ production isn’t heavy-handed; you get the feeling that he’s either doing the best with what he has to work with, doing someone a favor, or both. Case in point, the lyrics to “Hong Kong Fury”: “Oh her love is like a feverish disease / Oh she got me down upon my knees / Oh she got me begging please / On my knees, oh yeah / Hong Kong, Hong Kong Fury.” This is terrible stuff. Outta Sight/Outta Mind indeed.