Dinowalrus – What Now? (Single Review)

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Brooklyn’s Dinowalrus return on June 5th with their sophomore effort, Best Behavior and What Now? is a cut from the forthcoming platter. If their debut revisited NYC’s early 80’s No-wave noise/dance axis then Best Behavior is being touted as a more Anglophilic affair. The group turn their gaze towards the cross-fertilisation of indie and Acid House that was so fecund in the late 80’s/early 90’s, particularly in Manchester with the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. Remix work on some of the album was carried out by Jez Kerr, mainstay of that city’s A Certain Ratio.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a psychedelic collapsing of genres here. Samplers and echoes of more old school lysergic explorations come to the fore as they do on so many post- dance rock albums , from Primal Scream’s Screamadelica to Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. Indeed, it’s difficult to watch the surreal promo for another track, Phone Home From The Edge with the band in bath robes and not think of fellow hallucinogenic japesters, The Flaming Lips.

But on What Now?, the band add a rockier edge and febrile focus to this smorgasbord of influences. If Manchester’s musical heritage looms large on this track, it’s with the sound of its more saturnine, rain-coated denizens. The track’s propulsive bass-line glides through the fx-laden guitars, duplicating the majestic gloominess of England’s post-punk industrial north. There’s also some nifty kosmische atmospherics thrown in for good measure too. Pete Feigenhaum’s vocal, (joined by a barely audible Patrick Fickles from his occasional cohorts, Titus Andronicus), recalls the hoarse poise of The Psychedelic Furs. All in all, a pugilistic little beast, harnessing a wealth of reference points to its rapid- fire attack.

Matthew Lindsay

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