Although six months earlier people were telling New Zealand's Datsuns to give up, by mid-2002 London's music press was hailing them as "genius." By then the Datsuns had already been playing their brand of garage rock for six years, ever since they met at school in Cambridge and formed a band called Trinket. Back in 1997, as Trinket, they won the local radio station's Battle of the Bands. The following year, now called the Datsuns, they won again. In the years that followed they released only a handful of singles, all on vinyl and all on their own record label, Hellsquad Records. While beloved of student radio and known for their live Who-like performances, they were a relatively unknown group even at home. Things started to look up in March 2001, when a tour of Australia caused a bit of a stir, especially in Melbourne. Encouraged, the Datsuns made plans to take on London.
First it was the fickle London music press that flocked to the group's gigs, jostling with each other to hail the Datsuns as the greatest thing they'd seen. Record companies followed, waving checkbooks in their faces. One major-label boss flew in from New York to check out the action. Their London tour of duty had started with the band sleeping on other people's couches. Before long, at least one hopeful record company was fronting hotel bills. In July 2002 the band signed with the V2 label. The bandmembers then prepped for the domestic release of their self-titled effort, which appeared in 2002. Two years later the Datsuns returned with Outta Sight/Outta Mind. Smoke & Mirrors followed in 2006. The Datsuns released their fourth studio effort, Head Stunts, on Cooking Vinyl in 2008, which was slated for a U.S. domestic release in 2009. In 2012, the Datsuns delivered the bombastic, hard rock and psych-rock-tinged Death Rattle Boogie. Two years later, the group continued on the same fuzzed-out path with Deep Sleep. ~ Ed Nimmervoll