Darwin And The Dinosaur: Romulus

Darwin and the Dinosaur

A teasing and provocative dance for the ear, Romulus the new EP from UK indie conjurors Darwin and the Dinosaur is a tingly magnetic treat which leaves one smouldering in contentment. It is not necessarily the most immediate of pleasures, though has no weakness in persuading a willing acceptance of the good time it offers, but one which leads one back into its melodic arms far more constantly than other releases over reliant on easy lazy hooks.

Formed in 2008, the Norwich quintet of has earned a strong adoring following and firm acclaim through their sounds, shows, and previous releases including their debut album and a pair of EPs, the last self-titled quartet of songs from September of last year taking the praise and recognition for the band to greater heights. Romulus is set to elevate things further with its seven incisive sharply crafted gems and take Alan Hiom (bass/vocals), Alex Ware (guitar/vocals), Ben Piper (guitar/vocals), Steve Larke (guitar/vocals) and Joe Mears (drums), to a new level of deserved recognition.

Musically the band forge a melodic post punk and alternative rock fuelled sound with eighties whispers and sonic tinkering which is darwinandthedinosaurs-300x300compelling and absorbing. It teeters between the more psyche sounds of bands like We Are The Physics and Innercity Pirates and the subtler tender caresses of a Radio Friendlies or Young The Giant, dipping toes in both wells with accomplished craft and skilled expression. As soon as opening track Mow Mow lies down a canvas of jangly guitars with shaped emotive tones, attention is keen to delve deeper especially as the following eager and jabbing rhythms bring another level of potency to the track. Not for the first time on the EP, the bass of Hiom is a stirring and irresistible lure alongside his own plain but compellingly expressive vocals backed by strong group harmonies. It is not a song which makes an instant anthemic companion but one which lingers and coaxes strong attraction to its stylish charms.

The following Liebe holds a similar gait with an additional gentle wind in its sails and enchanting breath to its emotive whispers. There is always a steely spine to the songs of the band though which within this track holds a firm direction to allow the sonic tenderness and reserved swagger to wrap around with skilled invention. Neither of the first two songs offers startling hooks to hang the memory on but both make for engaging and impacting companions within their presence.

October enters on a melodic swing accompanied by again great infectious basslines and rapping rhythms. As the track continues into its hearty depths, senses picking guitars add a teasing spicery to the stance of the song whilst the vocals and harmonies continue to bring a captivation throughout. It is a rich mixture which for personal tastes only lacks a snarl to match some of the suggested punk airs across the song. The track is one of the brighter sparks on the release which reflects almost negatively on its successor Stupid Is As Stupid Does, a song which in the shadow of the first three lacks a strong voice; despite that it is still a brief slice of fiery emotion and refined craft which makes for an enjoyable time.

The release leaves its greatest moments to the latter half of its stay starting with the thirty second growl of the pop punk bruise Lady Die.  The track has the bite which one is searching for elsewhere and just ignites those old punk passions whilst weaving lashes of melodic pop to make a tasty brew.  F**K You And The Horse You Rode In On continues in the same vein though with a full body to its creative intent. It recalls elements of the Television Personalities with its self-deprecation and uncluttered expanse of sound and again pulls a greater adoration its way than in the earlier songs.

Closing with 16s, a punchy sizzling stretch of incisive energy and flaming imagination, and the best track on the EP such its combative attitude and powerful presence of smouldering melodic flames, Romulus is an impressive release which places Darwin and the Dinosaur as one of the more promising indie bands in the UK. Not quite flawless but wholly enthralling, Romulus is a first marker for 2013 for bands to aim for.


RingMaster 12/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Radio Friendlies -There Is No Radio Friendlies EP

Just when you thought the warmth of summer was over Dublin band Radio Friendlies arrive to unleash a new inviting heat with their excellent new EP There Is No Radio Friendlies. Consisting of four sizzling and vibrant songs, the release is an erupting sunspot in the sky of indie pop to leave one thrilled and energised.

Consisting of Stevin King (vocals/guitar), Dara Coleman (drums/backing vocals), and Kevin Keane (bass/backing vocals), the band has been on a steady rise the past year or so, and a climb which with the release of their new EP on September 28th, one can only see an acceleration to. The band takes its inspirations from the likes of Ash, The Pixies, Foo Fighters, The Beatles and Nirvana, though many more spring to mind as the songs romp across the ear. One year ago debut EP Signs was released, its arrival well received by fans and media alike, as well as garnering a great interest and download success in Mexico. Shows at venues like Dublin’s Academy 2, The Crawdaddy, Whelans-Live, The King Kong Club in The Village, and An Brog in Cork City, as well as impressive festival appearances including Cube Fest, Duisigh Festival, and Upload Festival, has only elevated their stock, but one feels with There Is No Radio Friendlies, wider recognition is surely on the near horizon.

All The Girls is the first song to engage the ear, its initial guitar strokes bursting into an energised stroll through to the heart. It is an infection which only takes a few moments to begin its magnetic pull with blazing guitar sonics and smart harmonies lighting the air. It is not a song which manages to venture into a full stomp, its pace reserved but openly keen, yet the song has one feeling charged and locked in a firm and heated embrace. Well crafted and imaginative, the band mixing up its stroll in pace and ideas nicely, the song has one licking lips for what is to follow.

What does step up to share their charms is even more impressive, almost putting the opener in the shade. Cry is a definite Weezer sounding love affair for the ear. Gentle and respectful, the track has a shadowed tone which certainly points to that Pixies influence, the melodies having that Frank Black created discord which fires up the passions. Released as the lead single from the EP a few weeks ago, the song is an open invitation impossible to refuse let alone ignore; its body a delicious dessert of irresistible melodic power pop.

Next up Dead brings a punk attitude to the table, its feisty and intimidating yet again controlled air, a stirring and compelling companion for the ear. The thumping pulse of the track gets the blood pumping faster whilst the again melodic might of the band just leaves one riveted. Reminding a little of Hagfish, the song is another triumph to set the soul aflame and bring the voice into play.

The closing Let’s Go, Explode, is the best of the lot. Another pop punk gem likes its predecessor, the track has a snarl to it somewhat absent elsewhere, its riotous heart ready to party and leave only debris in its wake. With an ear blistering groove, group shouts, and juicy hooks splicing the air like sabres, the track is aural excellence, your best friend from its first sonic handshake. Like a fusion of Janes Addiction, The Super Happy Fun Club, and Nerf Herder, it simply brings the fullest pleasure and an inciteful invigorating energy.

The There Is No Radio Friendlies EP is outstanding, the proof that pop punk, power pop, or indie pop, whatever you wish to call the style of sound of the band, is still not only one irresistible taste when at its best but has one exciting new flavour to make the heart drool called Radio Friendlies.



RingMaster 26/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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