the Datsuns with the WARLOCKS at the Tequila Lounge, November 6. Tickets: $12. Attendance: 200. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
when the warlocks took the stage, a quarter of the crowd were still waiting to check their coats and grumbling loudly about the Tequila Lounge's new cash grab scheme.Not that anyone stuck in the queue missed much. The painfully mediocre Warlocks came off like a third-rate Brian Jonestown Massacre sans sucker punches. Without a charismatic frontman or even a flash guitarist as a focal point, the Warlocks' slow, grinding psych drone was easy to ignore. Many people used the hour before the Datsuns appeared to discuss Vince Carter's knee and poor Winona Ryder's community service.
When the spindly members of New Zealand's Datsuns finally turned up, they were greeted not with wild cheers but more with a combination of relieved sighs and folded-arm skepticism. It's an understandable response, considering that bands like the Datsuns, currently being pushed as the next big thing by the British music press, often turn out to be duds. (See the Music.)
The shaggy Kiwi crew, having already proven themselves on tours of Australia and Europe, were up for the Canuck challenge. From the first explosive power chord it was clear that these fools had it goin' on.
There were no fancy gimmicks involved -- no matching white ties, white ascots or white trousers -- just straight-up rock 'n' roll bashing with a sweaty swagger that recalled both the contagious zeal of early Mudhoney and the rakish pop appeal of Thin Lizzy.
Slouchy singer/bassist Dolf de Datsun has the brooding, doomed genius look down pat, but his greatest asset, whether he knows it yet or not, is that slight Bolanesque trill in his voice. Having a decent supply of catchy, riff-heavy tunes to sing doesn't hurt.
As they blasted through one stormer after another -- Freeze Sucker, MF From Hell, Fink For The Man -- each one sounded like a hit. So the advance hubbub about the Datsuns is actually warranted.
Believe the hype.