When speaking to The Datsuns singer and bassist Dolf de Borst about some of his favourite albums, it instantly becomes clear what sonic attributes this New Zealand hard rock outfit hold most dear. Words like “raw”, “hard”, “heavy”, and “energetic” consistently pop up.
The point is ultimately driven home by the Cambridge band’s own discography, which is comprised of six albums’ worth of hazy, fuzz-driven, hard-edged, garage-bred rock and roll, carrying the torch first lit by bands like The Stooges and The MC5.
Most recently, the group’s love of all things raw and dirty culminated in the release of new album Deep Sleep, which they will soon be touring around Australia. Ahead of these highly anticipated tour dates, we caught up with Dolf to discuss the albums that had the biggest impact on his very particular tastes.
The White Stripes – De Stijl
“There are lots of records that I got into when I was younger, but I suppose if I was to pick something slightly more contemporary — this is when I was like 20 — the White Stripes record, their second record came out, De Stijl.
“That record changed the way I felt about a lot of stuff, actually, because I was into a lot of garage stuff and a lot of rock and roll, a lot of heavy music and things like that, and that record flipped a lot of things on their head because of just how great the songwriting was and how simple it was and how basic it was, but also still being really good pop songs, as well as being really raw and simple.”
The Hellacopters – Disappointment Blues EP
“I was listening to bands like The Hellacopters before that and I still really love that band. That band was really important to me growing up. They did an EP tour for their Australian tour called the Disappointment Blues EP.
“That’s another really important record and that’s a fantastic record – super high energy, pretty messed-up sounding, really pissed-off sounding, really fast, there’s a Motorhead cover on it.”
Rocket from the Crypt – Scream, Dracula, Scream!
“We really liked Rocket from the Crypt’s Scream, Dracula, Scream!, we played that a lot. I remember one time when Phil was doing the scrumpy challenge, Phil was drinking a lot of scrumpy, and Christian lived in this kind of bedsit behind his parents’ place and there was this tiny little room and we were getting really drunk and there was so much rain outside and Phil had fallen asleep outside in the rain, the rain was coming up the side of his face and we had Scream, Dracula, Scream! on repeat. That’s a kick-ass record.”
The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
“I think I associate that one with my teen years the most. We were pretty young when that came out, what year was that? ’92? ’93? ’94? I would’ve been 14 or something.
“I just thought it sounded really different to a lot of stuff [out at the time] and it was also kind of heavy in its own way. I don’t know, when I listen to it now, it still sounds like a teenage record.”
Reigning Sound – Time Bomb High School
“There’s a band from Memphis called Reigning Sound, the main songwriter is this guy called Greg Cartwright, who’s been in a bunch of other bands, The Oblivions and Compulsive Gamblers.
“We got into his band, Reigning Sound, and there’s this one album called Time Bomb High School, which has really good songs on it. What year did that come out? Maybe 2004 or 2005, I can’t remember, but man, that record was on repeat a lot.”
Deep Purple – Deep Purple in Rock
There’s a couple records I always go to where I’m like, ‘Man, this is really good’, and one of them is Deep Purple’s Deep Purple in Rock, because it’s probably one of their most raw-sounding records and the intro for it, Speed King, the very first song on that record it’s got just this wall of noise and feedback and it just really excites me whenever I put it on.
T. Rex – The Slider
T. Rex is pretty important for us. Probably The Slider or Electric Warrior, those two records are important. I just think it’s so kind of free form and otherworldly and the lyrics seem stream-of-consciousness, but they also seem to make sense in a lot of ways.
“I think it’s pretty good [laughs] Maybe it’s style over substance, but it’s a pretty good style.”