What's new in the land of royals and Radiohead? The editors of Britain's NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS whisk us their monthly report.

Forget the White Stripes. Never mind the Strokes. This month everyone in Britain is going mental about…the Datsuns! They sound like AC/DC falling down a flight of stairs, their best song is called ”Motherf — -er From Hell,” but most important of all, they come from New Zealand. Yes, that small island nation below Australia.

Britain and America may have spent the last 50 years as the undisputed superpowers of rock & roll, but a seismic shift is taking place. There’s little doubt that in recent months all the most exciting music has been emanating from the antipodes, and the Datsuns are just the latest (and loudest) example.

Obviously, the first sighting of this phenomenon came with the emergence of Sydney’s the Vines, whose fuzzed-up garage rock has proved successful on both hemispheres. Where Nirvana went down in history as the band that destroyed poodle rock, the Vines are shaping up as the group that will eradicate nu-metal.

Meanwhile, their antipodean comrades have been pouring over the border in droves. From New Zealand, there’s the D4 (their key song? ”RocknRoll Mother- f — -er.” No relation) and the quaintly named Rock’n’Roll Machine. Australia has also proffered the Sleepy Jackson (Gram Parsons meets the Super Furry Animals), Jet (currently the subject of a massive bidding war), and Melbourne’s the Casanovas. They’re multiplying so fast, it’s hard to keep up.

Why this is happening now is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s because these boondocks-bred bands have a freshness about them. Cut off from the rest of the world, they’ve developed free of fashion and scrutiny. They don’t have ”cool” influences. They don’t look like they just walked out of CBGB. And they don’t seem to give a f — – about what people think. Here in Britain, we’ve already fallen for them; it’s only a matter of time before you do too. — James Oldham, NME Deputy Editor




THE DATSUNS The Datsuns (V2) Part Thin Lizzy, part AC/DC, the Datsuns’ debut album is a triumph of ’70s guitar histrionics. Song titles like ”Fink for the Man” and ”Freeze Sucker” tell you all you need to know.

THE D4 6Twenty (Infectious) 6Twenty is the ragged and righteous debut from Auckland’s finest garage punks. Interesting fact: They’re now managed by Alan McGee (a.k.a. the Man Who Discovered Oasis).

THE VINES ”Outtathaway” (Capitol) Another single from the Vines’ brilliant Highly Evolved. This one’s chiefly notable for the U.K.-only B side: their fantastic demolition of Outkast’s ”Miss Jackson.” Credits