Brighton and Hove News » DITZ rocks Resident racks with ‘The Great Regression’
DITZ – RESIDENT, BRIGHTON 24.9.22
Five-piece Brighton DITZ are a growing group. The brooding power of their dark post-punk soundscapes, coupled with ferociously energetic performances, have earned them a growing army of followers since their debut EP in 2016. It had been a while in coming, but their debut album ‘The great regression‘ was eventually released by Alcopop Records on March 4, 2022, with great success. A track, “Ded Würst”was enthusiastically championed by BBC Radio 6’s Steve Lamacq when it was released as a single.
The album had been released on CD, cassette and digital formats, but a vinyl version was the last missing piece of the release puzzle. Growing demand and ever-increasing supply difficulties have resulted in very long production times, which is why I now find myself in crowds of people queuing in Kensington Gardens in Brighton on September 24th. We wait, in excited anticipation, outside Resident Music for an in-store performance to celebrate the arrival of vinyl. As with the release itself, things are a bit late, but everyone is in high spirits.
We file and we take place between the disc racks. Store performances are often stripped down or acoustic, but it’s immediately clear that won’t be the case tonight. I take a seat next to Caleb’s bass stack of an Ampeg head and two Barefaced cabinets, and I can see that there’s a full Gretsch drum kit set up in the corner. Two impressive, road-worn guitar amps were hoisted onto the counter. The familiar but tiny vocal PA with its single mic, used for in-store shows here, will have to punch above its weight tonight.
The group climbs onto the counter and takes their seats to thunderous cheers. I can’t see much of guitarist Jack, as he’s on the other side of a pillar, but other than that it’s as up close and personal as you’d like. A resounding construction of guitar and cymbal effects introduces the fast tempo ‘Clocks’. Caleb cranks out a powerful bass grind, which I watch from about a foot away, and drummer Sam beats the kit with all his might, alternating high-speed tom rolls with big snare and cymbal hits. Predictably, Cal’s vocals are quite low in the mix, but these songs are so familiar now that no one is likely to be too bothered. The opening number breaks down into the ticking of a clock, simulated on the hi-hat, with resounding chimes on the guitar and a final booming bang on the bass, before we get into the industrial beat. resounding with ‘Ded Würst’, interspersed with bursts of extreme noise. It is a moving and visceral experience.
“We are DITZ from Brighton,” Cal offers, in case anyone isn’t sure. The tiny PA reacts in his effort to follow the heavyweight backline. They’re going to play all the tracks on the album in order, easing any worries about the composition of the setlist. The next step is then ‘Summer of the Shark’. Drummer Sam has taken off his shirt, so he’s clearly going to continue at full intensity. Indeed, the power of his game soon makes the record covers fall on the shelves. It contrasts the onslaught of the toms with delicate tapping on the rims and cymbal stands.
The relatively languorous rhythm of ‘Three’ builds menacingly before breaking down into a more complex rhythm, with increasing howls of effects-laden guitar from Anton and Jack. They stay busy on the more angular number ‘The Guardian’, which turns into a surprisingly atmospheric outro punctuated by rapid bursts of tom rolls.
“I cut a striking silhouette and it makes me cringe”, sings Cal on the bass beat of “I am Kate Moss”. The album’s lyrics touch on various themes of identity, appearance, gender, and daunting daily work, though you’d be hard pressed to discern much of it from today’s performance. The singer explores the limits of the available space, climbing onto the counter of the store to observe the packed crowd. A shaky guitar line echoes through the room.
“Resident was the second store I came to in Brighton…after Budgens,” Cal recalls, introducing the growing threat of ‘Instinct’. An ethereal whine of ghostly guitar leads to ‘eh eh’. The guitarists both have large pedalboards that get a lot of use. They follow each other in the powerful and expansive ‘The teeth’, which features stunning bass work that I really enjoy watching up close.
There’s thanks to Resident, and the band manager and the booking agent, and then we get closer to the album, “No thank you, I’m satisfied”. Cal jumps over the counter and disappears in the back, leaving the group to a show of sublime intensity. I am completely transported, lost in the music and dancing with frenzy, which cannot always be said of a trip to a record store.
It was an impressive performance, and the audience can’t wait to hear an encore. We actually get two more songs: a cover of Peaches ‘F*ck The Pain Away’and the excellent ‘Arrangement search’, from 2020 “Five Songs” PE. The live show ends and a long line forms around the store to get the records signed.
If you like thoughtful yet heavy music with extreme contrasts of complexity and power, chances are you’ll like DITZ. If you are not yet familiar, I strongly recommend that you consult ‘The great regression‘now available on all the usual digital platforms and finally available on all physical formats as well.
Cal – Voice
Antonio – Guitar
Caleb – Bass
Sam – Drums
Jack – Guitar
DITZ set list:
‘Clocks’ (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
“Ded Wurst” (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
“Summer of the Shark” (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
‘Three’ (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
‘The Guardian’ (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
“I’m Kate Moss” (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
‘Instinct’ (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
‘Eh eh’ (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
‘The teeth’ (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
‘No thank you, I’m full’ (from 2022 “The Great Regression” album)
“Fuck The Pain” (Peaches Cover) (from 2020 ‘5 songs’ PE)
“Seek an arrangement” (from 2020 ‘5 songs’ PE)