MONKEYS BLOOD - The Dacios (Solar Sonar Records)
Contemporary Western society seems unnaturally attracted to apocryphal scenarios. Take Swine Flu – health professionals were adamant that the illness, while prone to spreading quicker than the average flu, was no more (in fact, generally less) dangerous than ordinary seasonal flu. But that didn’t stop talk of pandemics and associated human carnage. Maybe it’s because we’re cushioned on all sides by the comforts of our sedentary lifestyle – counter intuitively – we’re apparently so worried about being rendered a pathetic, ravaged mess by some uncontrollable disease.
It’s a stretch (but worth a shot), but a similar analysis could be used to explain the occasional shrill assertions that rock’n’roll is dead or its equally offensive companion claim, that the best there’s no good rock’n’roll being made anymore. If such egregious statements about the health of modern music had any credibility how then, pray tell, do you explain the brilliance of The Dacios’ new album, "Monkey's Blood"?
Precisely how can such commentary be reconciled against the guttural, ball-tearing riff that launches "Liberty Lovers" and propels into a world of garage rock beauty, the Twenty Second Sect style passion and pain of "Monica" and the jungle rumbling of "Buzzard Hide"? And that’s without even beginning to argue the case for the suburban raceway arrogance of "Girl in the Mirror", all attitude, "Swampland"-inspired riffage and a rock’n’roll melodic beauty that sticks its tongue in your ear and seduces you into a world that polite society refuses to acknowledge exists.
And lest the impression be given that The Dacios are all brute force and ignorance, "Monkeys Blood" offers some temperance in the form of the title track and the Kathleen Hanna-ish of the album’s (hidden) final song.
Don’t listen to the doomsday prophets – the world’s not going to end, we’re not all going to be wiped from the earth by some freakish disease and rock’n’roll will never die while The Dacios are on the case. - Patrick Emery
Politeness be fucked. Sometimes (often) I like my rock and roll to be ill-mannered and drooling at the gills. "Monkeys Blood" (note defiant omission of the possessive apostrophe) manages to be so, staying this side of the chalk-line that denotes control and losing control of your body functions on the bald-headed lady's frontyard (to borrow a Zappa-ism.)
The Dacios manage to take that old standard called Blues Rock and infuse it with something more primal than your four-to-the-floor boogie acts and blinkered pub rock diehards can. Their city of residence (Melbourne) has usually had it over the rest of the country for the more artfully extreme styles of guitar music with more noiseniks per square kilometre than anywhere else (although maybe Sydney briefly held an edge when the Scientists were putting down roots and morphing.) The sound of the Dacios is in the same neighbourhood as Messrs Salmon and Co circa 1985, just a different locale.
It goes without saying that frontperson Linda J has a voice that is as large as her personage is small. "Liberty Lovers" and Ms J stake out the turf from the get-go and The Dacios never give it up from that point on. In just seven tracks (I appear to lack the hidden one) this band says more than most manage in 20.
"Buzzard's Hide" locks into an aural wave of sound that equates to extreme potency. "Grey Machine" a degree moreso. "Monica" something carnal in the lyrics and lays down music to match. "Monkeys Blood" takes a couple of spins to allow its grip to tighten. From there on, it's addictive. Reflective moments like the slow-building title track and the closing acoustic ballad "She Size" smoulder with an intensity that's part beauty and part brutality.
There's the odd flat spot to be sure but debuts don't come a lot better than this. Let's hope they don't think too hard about the follow-up. - The Barman
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