Wednesday, 16 May 2012

New band of the day: Last Dinosaurs (No 1,266)

More Australian music love from The Guardian, this time for one of my favoutite bands to have emerged in recent times:
Australia's Last Dinosaurs are proof that indie pop doesn't deserve to be driven to extinction.
Hometown: Brisbane.
The lineup: Sean Caskey (vocals, guitars), Lachlan Caskey (lead guitars), Sam Gethin-Jones (bass), Dan Koyama (drums).
The background: Last Dinosaurs are a four-piece whose debut album has been described by one magazine as "a strong contender" for best Australian album of the last two decades. When was the last great Go-Betweens LP? The point is, listening to Last Dinosaurs' debut album In a Million Years you don't feel like laughing at his, or her, assertion, you feel like applauding. We're no more fans of guitar-based indie pop than we are of the sea shanties and polka dottiness of yesterday's new band, but when it's done as well as it is on In a Million Years, with such exuberance and finesse, it suddenly becomes our favourite genre in the world, ever.
We were hardly enticed to play the damn thing by comparisons, made by a friend, between Last Dinosaurs and a bunch of bands who have almost completely passed us by. "Listen to this lot," he said, "they're part Bombay Bicycle Club and part Maccabees, with elements of the Little Ones and Magic Kids." Now, we've actually featured most of those in this column over the years, and we still haven't a clue what they sound like (at least with the Little Ones we've got an excuse – they were the first New Band of the Day and it was a long time ago). Suffice to say that we don't recall any of them having this much melodic fizz, nor do we remember putting any of their songs on repeat-play just so we could swoon over and over to their keening choruses.
They're reinventing the wheel with zeal and a minimum of spiel: we haven't read many interviews with them, but we do know they're all aged between 18 and 22, three of them are Japanese-Australian, and most of the album was written by singer-guitarist Sean Caskey following a relationship break-up. Like Oberhofer's Time Capsules II, In a Million Years alchemises heartache into a series of adrenalised guitar-pop rushes and although they didn't have Steve Lillywhite at the controls, they've brought a slickness to bear on what might otherwise have been opportunities for sloppy amateurism.
Zoom, the opening track, is such an irresistible surge (the clue's in the title) you'll assume it's a one-off. Really, you must stop doing that. Track two, I Can't Help You, has the rhythmic propulsion and funky poppiness of Phoenix but goes on a minute too long (we are available for editing at cut prices) whereas Sunday Night doesn't last nearly long enough with its stunning key and chord changes and scruffy take on Afrobeat worthy of Foals if not Friendly Fires. Andy is amazing – sorry for the hyperbole, but it is. "Meet me on the surface of Jupiter," they tease. We probably will. We'd also like to point out that the transition between the verse and the chorus deserves a column all its own (Shift of the Day). I Can't Decide is ragged disco, or grunge played by funk musos, and the ending is divine – they give good coda, do Last Dinosaurs. Not only that but they make you feel optimistic about guitar pop while In a Million Years gives albums a good name. Spring Hill Fair and rising.
The buzz: "In a Million Years is a strong contender for the best Australian album of the last 20 years" – The AU Review.
The truth: Last Dinosaurs prove that decent indie guitar-pop is not extinct.
Most likely to: Make a strong appearance at this year's Great Escape on Thursday night.
Least likely to: Disappear following an ecological cataclysm.
What to buy: The single Time and Place is released by Polydor on 28 May, followed by the album In a Million Years.
File next to: Phoenix, Friendly Fires, Foals, Vampire Weekend.
Thursday's new band: Poor Moon. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds