Building on the success of earlier releases, Scottish indie tunesmiths Miniature Dinosaurs release their new EP, Turn It On, confirming all the early promise and why there is an impossible to ignore buzz around the band. The four track release still indicates there is much more to come and be explored within their creativity and songwriting, which only fires up a stronger eagerness to watch them develop ahead.
From Stirling, the quartet of Barry Maclean (vocals/guitar), Alban Dickson (bass), Craig Ferrie (guitar/synth) and Sam Waller (drums), has been igniting attention and keen responses from day one, the band receiving BBC airplay before they stepped onto a stage and pulling acclaim from all quarters. Once into their stride live, Miniature Dinosaurs has supported the likes of Fenech-Soler, Johnny Foreigner, and Young the Giant to again nothing less than strongly positive returns whilst at the same time releasing singles and EPs of quirky and imaginative infectious pop. TheTurn It On EP is arguably a little bit of a surprise, the tracks maybe less instant than previous tracks like Alligator and Fight And Flight, but they all show a fresh expanse to their songwriting in tandem with a more intricate and serious breath to their still contagious imagination. The quartet of almost psych drawn pop songs brings a heated experience to feast upon without restraint, whilst taking thoughts on a ride of unpredictable and fiery invention to wake them up and spark their own individual responses. Their sound again feels like a invigorating mix of David Bowie, Josef K, and Pulp but even more so on these new tracks, carries the feel and drama of the Associates, with even vocally Maclean having whispers of Billy Mackenzie in the gait of his delivery. They are spicy extras to the uniqueness of the band and music, something to ensure as mentioned it is impossible to ignore.
Released through Integrity Records, the EP opens with the download single which found strong success over the summer, Lemonade. The song is the most straight forward companion of the four, an easy to consume piece of pop with a mellow and warm presence. As its keys stroke the ear with gentle warmth, the beats of Waller divert the attention to a core of feistier intent within the song, soon joined by the muscular and slightly barbed basslines of Dickson. The crystalline yet discord barked guitar play lashes the ear within and around the shadowed rhythms to open up the senses further, the track never bursting into a riot of energy but capturing the passions with the emotive deliverance of keys and vocals alongside the moodier and more forceful elements elsewhere.
The great start is followed by best track on the release in Lip Synch. The song opens with a provocative questioning lyrically and musically, the guitar, bass, and drums prodding until they get a response and the synth slowly offering its own seductive persuasion. The simple but effective start is a slow build which is masked by the captivating sonic spotlights and melodic teases. Eventually one is face to face with a powerful and dramatic crescendo of passion and energy in the chorus, a dazzling and explosive joy to leave one breathless. Repeating the opening and climax again the track taunts and thrills with further expressive enterprise within the repetitive but irresistible structure of the song. It is glorious, maybe the best thing Miniature Dinosaurs has done.
Next of Kin is a sonic sun of sharp and pulsating guitars and epic keys driven atmospheres speared by the again excellent dark bass tones of Dickson. The track has a heart as big as its sounds and makes immersing within its emotive very easy and rewarding. Like its predecessor, the track has denseness to its gift which stretches and shows the evolution of the creativity of the band though it still has the ability to engage with impressive contagion.
The closing title track like the first is a song with a more instantaneous pop swagger, one you can jump on board with like an old friend and join its new but familiar mischief with ease. It brings a compulsive end to an equally addictive release that marks Miniature Dinosaurs as a band continuing to shout out look at us, something which with Turn It On EP alone would be rude to refuse.
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