Tuesday, 9 August 2011

EP Review: Tyrannosaurus Dead - Tyrannosaurus Dead EP

Label: Cupboard Music
Released: Soon

If there's one trick that's guaranteed to win my attention it's a band named after a dinosaur*. Honestly, it never fails. Sometimes checking out a band's output based on such a name can lead to a big old 'meh', and we all move on safe in the knowledge that the band has at least managed to get a decent name together.

Sometimes, and this is very rare, after I click play any thoughts about the name are dispelled completely to be replaced with the simple thought of “YES! This is the stuff!”. With EP opener '1992' Tyrannosaurus Dead achieve this. Within about four seconds.

OK, perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration. But the intro to '1992' does give you a fair idea what I'm talking about. Lovely fuzzy early '90s influenced indie rock, with a slightly cleaner guitar line providing the melody. It's everything there is to love about Trailer era Ash, The Lemonheads or Teenage Fanclub. There's the Dinosaur Jr influence in there too, and once the vocal melody joins in I can't help but consider Yuck's finer moments. I'm sure you know by now the sort of ball-park we're in here. But this isn't just revivalism of a sub-genre or style.

The lyrics get right to the core of what it is we want from pop music. It's a love song, set in nostalgia. It's the rush of being a teenager and the beating down of the sun in the summers. It's that lethargy and excitement. Not to get deliberately hyperbolic but when the last utterance of '1992' is “Can I always chose you” Keep Pop Loud wants to say the same thing to the song. By the end of the first listen I actually wanted to sign the band straight away to KPL Records.

But this EP isn't just one song. 'Smiling Politely' is a bit rougher, with a grunge kick to it. The drums are hammered on nicely, whilst the guitars and bass fizz together into a wall of sound. It's one of three moments that are all completely different in flavour and yet add up to a really astonishing release from a band so new.

Last track, 'Silver' again is more gentle and rounds off the EP. By more gentle, of course that's not to say that it has no edge. Like slowly driving at night it's like that cocooning bubble of the car against the strange night. Although it occasionally feels as though it's due to kick into something louder it restrains itself and leaves the listener with a similar feeling to that gotten from the more sombre moments of Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. It doesn't really need the lyrics to conjure this feeling, but they add to it anyway. “In the back seat of your car. In the back seat of your car”.

The EP is due out on Cupboard Music at some point soon. There'll definitely be more news on Tyrannosaurus Dead on Keep Pop Loud as it happens. In the meantime, visit their blog and have a look around. This is the start of something fantastic. 

*Or something from Star Wars

Keep Pop Loud

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