This is one of those moments when pressing is a scary prospect. Having been such a fan and proponent (read: forcing everyone I know to listen to it on repeat) of Dananananananaykroyd’s 2009 debut LP, Hey Everyone, will their new offering live up to the ecstasy of that record? And more importantly, will I be able to run to it in the gym?!
Well, press I must – and thankfully there was nothing to keep me awake at night. This is fresh, strong and I’m smiling from the start. What I love about this band is their ability to make their music-making sound so enjoyable. They are clearly LOVING what they are doing, and it comes across in every element of their music. For this album they have worked with legendary producer Ross Robinson, of US post-rockers At The Drive-In fame, and on occasion this is apparent in the production – particularly on opening track ‘Reboot’, which is possibly my least favourite track on the album, not emitting the same shimmering brilliance I have come to expect from the boys (the intro is too long, or I’m just too impatient).
The further element of their sound that, for me, catapults them beyond other bands making the same raucous music (they like to call it ‘fight pop’) is the clearly Scottish sound, present not just in Baillie Jnr and Gunn’s vocals, but even in the guitar sound. There’s a nod to their roots, at times sounding a little Idlewild, even a little Degrassi. Second track ‘All Us Authors’ has an immediacy in the guitar work, a layering of sound creating a slightly panicked feel – like being trapped in your Auntie’s house watching Songs of Praise when the Pixies are on at the Barras. The drums are relentless, and third track ‘E Numbers’ possibly explains a lot – their manic approach to songwriting resting on an over-consumption of Mountain Dew, perhaps?!
Indeed, as I listen on through the album, it seems that though there are clear influences (‘Think and Feel’ sounds like Faith No More on Irn Bru, a more obscure reference being 2004-era Flying Matchstick Men) what really comes across is that this is a band with a truly established sound. The album sounds just as it should, and I am delighted. ‘Apostrophe’ is certainly more than a soon-to-be-neglected punctuation mark; ‘Seven Days Late’ couldn’t come too soon; and closer ‘Make A Fist’ has me leaping to my feet, doing exactly that.