The first time I ever heard of DITZ was either at the Hope and Ruin, or Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar in Brighton, around the time of the debut EP. It was probably a Love Thy Neighbour night, and they were on first. I have no idea what they played. The band probably doesn’t know either, in all fairness. What I do know is how I felt. Their music hit me square in the chest and moved me back a few feet. When Cal Francis started stalking the floor, mic in hand, I knew this was a band to watch. And watch we have. Over the past six years, we have seen this quintet evolve from a post-hardcore outfit into something far more exciting.
‘Three’ is probably the poppiest track on the album. Opening with a chugging metallic guitar, the rest of the band join in, slowly. Through this slow build, catchy lyrics and melodies are thrown at us. They are thrown with such force they immediately get lodged in our heads. Anton Mocock and Jack Looker’s guitar work is horrific yet touching. The rhythm section of Sam Evans and Caleb Remnant gives Francis a firm foundation for vocal espousing. ‘hehe’ contains the lyric of the album “I pretend to hate you so I can cut myself some slack”. This is something we can all relate to. We all project hatred towards things, people/songs/podcasts/films/etc, but it’s usually based on our own insecurities than a real feeling of malice. ‘The Warden is about being too intense, whilst being pretty intense. ‘I Am Kate Moss’ is a throwback to the early track ‘I am Chris Martin’.
However, the tongue-in-cheek title is there the similarities end, as ‘I am Kate Moss’ is about how others perceive us and how this is sometimes off the mark. Someone might see you as standoff-ish but this is a front due to how you are gripped with anxiety and it’s the only way to get through social interactions. “I got a striking fear. And it cuts me back”. The music is stark and abrasive but there is a feeling of hope. Lurking underneath it all themes of gender and insecurity litter ‘The Great Regression’. The message seems to be “Things are shit but be a little less hard on yourself. Celebrate your victories a bit more, instead of dwelling on your failures”.
After listening to ‘The Great Regression’, on what feels like a near-constant loop – since before it came out, even – I’m back in 2016 again. The band sounds very little like the one I saw in a fairly empty venue, but that’s the point, right? We don’t want new bands to stagnate, only allowing them to stay as they were. Instead, we have a band that is saying, and have always said, important things. Previous singles ‘Gayboy’ and ‘Total 90’ put them on the map and separated them from their peers due to their scope and subject matter.
While the title isn’t really a reference to the band, it feels more about how everything over the past decade feels like a step back in time, if this is their idea of regression, I can’t wait to see how far they regress on their next release.
The article was adapted from clashmusic.com