To say DITZ kicked the hornets nest when they arrived on the Brighton scene would be a wee bit of an understatement. A more fitting analogy would be that they lit the nest on fire and dropkicked it right into the fray. From refusing to comply with genre guidelines and not playing ball with rigid scene norms, the Brighton noise-punks where quickly left separated and shunned from the horde of contemporaries they share a town with. A tricky place to be when initially establishing oneself, but a fantastic position to be in when wanting to be noticed. After being snagged up by Alcopop Records and being heralded by artists such as Idles and Slaves, DITZ are a new breed of noise-merchant, something that’s showcased brilliantly with their new EP and first physical release Five Songs.
Much like a similarly named release from labelmates Youth Man, Five Songs is less of a mission statement and more of a frenzied scream that demands rapt attention. Complied of three singles, new hit ‘Role Model’ and their cover of Peaches’ infamous ‘Fuck The Pain Away’ - a track that was originally released via limited download dictated by a rotting peach – this is brilliant encapsulation of their mercurially chaotic live presence.
Opener and oldest track ‘Seeking Arrangement’ (originally released in 2018) shows the high strung obnoxiousness that defined their early years and their present live sets. A frustrated noise rock stream of consciousness documenting missed relationships, this anger and resentment is filtered and articulated far better in more recent track ‘Gayboy’. Dissonantly corrosive, it’s a lambasting condemnation of those who empower themselves by expressing homophobia and xenophobia that’s delivered with the two-hit combo of primally frustrated drum beats and Cal Francis’s venomous lyricism that borders upon noxious spoken word.
‘Total 90’ sits within this same vein, but is a far more urgent and violent affair. Truly mirroring the left-field anarchy of their live shows, ‘Total 90’ explores the xenophobia ever-present within football and how many merely play it as off as pathetic attempts at ‘Banter’. It’s a crucial documentation of the and bile beneath the beautiful game, with a galloping beat that breaks down into fistfight between Francis spittle flying monotone vocals and screeching fretwork that drives this message home.
‘Role Model’, their latest track, it a bit more ominous with it’s apprehensive strings and obscured mutterings. Yet, it’s this stillness that amplifies the bludgeoning of noise rock fury and Francis’ almost hysterical wails that chapter it. That sardonic humour that underpinned their previous work is only replaced with righteous hostility, all before taking centre stage with their cover of Peaches’ magnum opus. The acidic fuzz of the arguably the most provocative songs of the naughties has been enhanced with scalping fretwork that accumulates in a climax of adolescent noise punk, serving as a contemporary classic redeveloped for the modern age.
Five Songs is more than what it says on the tin. When compared to the group’s original three track EP, it shows tremendous growth from an act birthed from relentless youthful rage all whilst only better expressing their ethos. Given the group’s habit for releasing material unpredictably, it might be a while before we hear a full length but this EP is more than enough to keep our thirst for white noise coated punk quenched for a little while.
Five Songs is out now via Alcopop Records. Purchase the record here.