The Datsuns

Album Title: Outta Sight/Outta Mind
Release Date: July 6, 2004
Genre: Rock
Hey, haven't we heard this band before? Wasn't it around thirty years ago, and weren't they called Led Zeppelin? At least it seems fitting that John Paul Jones himself produced this third outing by The Datsuns, a roaring 70's-garage-esque outfit from New Zealand. As one of the bands toted to lead the rock n' roll revival overseas, the quartet's previous efforts constantly showed plenty of promise. So does their most recent album deliver the goods?

Well, yes and no.

On their 2002 self-titled album, The Datsuns showed both teeth and venom as a punky garage band determined to bring back the rock sensibilities of the 70's and 80's. On Outta Sight/Outta Mind, it seems more like the boys are taking the easy road out by aping a lot of their influences, and far too closely. Riffs on tracks like "That Sure Ain't Right," "Get Up! (Don't Fight It)" and "Girls Best Friend" are so textbook Zep that it's almost frightening. By halfway through the album, you start to wonder if it's Jones' influence as producer, or maybe The Datsuns are trying to appease him, or something. Either way, it's hard to ignore. But if you actually can put aside your memories of oldskool rock n' roll, then this album has got boatloads of appeal. It could be a great soundtrack for a summer night or cruising down the highway, particularly the songs "Cherry Lane" and "Blacken My Thumb." Plus notable standout "Hong Kong Fury" - though again, its main riff reminds me far too much of some drunkenly mutated version of "Black Dog" - is far too addictive for its own good.

If you already lived through the 70's, you might not want to go back. But if you're a young'un who missed those days completely and are in the mood for some good old-fashioned foot-stompin' rock n' roll, The Datsuns might be right up your alley.

Writer: Caitlin Hotchkiss

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