Tomorrow, Brighton-based punk quintet DITZ will release their latest EP, 5 Songs. A scorching spark plug of raw power, 5 Songs sees DITZ further lean into their ability to pack tracks with rich detail and a bounty of texture, causing them to smoke and crackle to life in a way only they could truly conjure. This enrapturing sense of might permeates its way through the entire duration of the EP.
A clear strength of 5 Songs is DITZ’s ability to embrace and experiment with tempo and dynamic changes. On each track, the verses act as enthralling pressure cookers that slowly build toward the all-consuming sonic explosions that the choruses present. The impact this skill, and it is a skill indeed, has on the listener transcends the auditory alone; it goes far beyond simply “sounding good.” With these elements in play on each track, the listening experience 5 Songs creates is akin to inching up the incline on a roller coster before dashing downward at full speed. The pulse quickens, the heartbeat thumps with a newfound resonance, and the stomach twists. It is nearly impossible to not have some sort of physiological reaction to each of these tracks, and that is in no small testament to the band’s ability to create engaging arrangements that capture the ear in full.
Opening track ‘Seeking Arrangement’ can be used as a microcosms through which to explore this phenomenon. The verses offer a bewitching blend of a stripped-back haunting element and short, sharp jolts of sound. In a matter of seconds, however, this erupts into a chorus that thrashes and burns to live with vigor. It snarls and shreds and holds absolutely nothing back — something DITZ has quite a knack for — before smoothly transitioning back into the more sonically minimalist verses. Clocking in at just over a minute and a half, DITZ fills ‘Seeking Arrangement’ with striking transitions, oodles of natural swagger, and peppers it all with a captivating sense of danger. In ‘Seeking Arrangement’, and in each track on the EP, DITZ is able to create something of two songs in one. Their ability to not only be ambitious enough to attempt this, but to then proceed to pull it off as well as they did, is a large contributing factor behind why each track that builds 5 Songs is a bona fide earworm.
It is worth calling attention to the role that Cal Francis’s stellar vocal performance plays in the creation of this sensation. Francis’s ability to seamlessly alternate from foreboding to fiery and back again creates a beguiling effect that acts as a key player in fostering the dynamic changes that makes 5 Songs as rich of a listen as it is. This is perhaps most evident on ‘Role Models’, where Francis transitions from a near mumble to an almighty roar in a matter of a single beat. This skill makes Francis’s clear and natural ability as a punk vocalist strikingly apparent.
Though the concluding track, ‘Fuck The Pain Away’, is a cover by the artist Peaches, DITZ makes it distinctive by rocketing it into a plucky and percussive whirlwind. They give the track a cool dark edge while maintaining the original version’s sense of buoyancy — the combination of which is exciting to take in. Moreover, of course, it serves as proof positive that DITZ can find an innovative manner through which to infuse just about anything with their signature sense of gritty flair.
It is, obviously, an overused journalistic trope to label a band as “a one to watch.” However, that said, it feels completely appropriate to attribute the phrase to DITZ. As a writer, a hunch occasionally arises where you, for whatever reason, are struck with the unshakeable feeling that you are covering an artist at a time in their careers where they are teetering on the precipice of explosion — likely faster than anyone may realize. 5 Songs has only further illustrated the incredible levels of sonic magnitude that DITZ is capable of reaching, and it is of little doubt that future releases of theirs will only continue to expand upon this even further. After all, DITZ’s ability to jam-pack goliathan soundscapes into relatively short durations is not only impossible to ignore, but has all the ingredients to make their work spread like wildfire. Their days as anyone’s best kept sonic secret are numbered, and rightfully so.
5 Songs will be released on 3rd July via Alcopop! Records