Derail is the new single from Dinosaur Pile-Up’s sophomore album Nature Nuture, released on 17 June. I have to say, the album has quite a cool, eye-catching cover. It shows a guy landing flat on his face against a vibrant amber background. In fact this alt-rock group from Leeds clearly put a lot of thought into the image they put out. The video for this single is quite striking too, offering an Americana-crime movie feel to the song. But the song itself? First off, it should be said that Dinosaur Pile-Up are a very specific taste and, I assume, cater to emo-friendly teenagers. I am not one of those kids, nor do I listen to anything in that ballpark; and yet, I think this is a decent tune. It admittedly panders to a standard pop formula but has enough balls behind it to get away with that. The verses are simple but, again, the driving beat keeps you involved.
The one major fault is the repetitiveness of the choruses, particularly at the end. This song could have easily, and wisely, had 30 seconds or so shaved off the end. But this is a common occurrence (a common mistake?) as, chances are, there’s always some record label suit barking “More chorus!” in the studio. To paraphrase Christopher Walken, ‘record labels have a fever and the only prescription is more chorus’. I wish they’d fuck off down to Boots instead though so I don’t have to listen to seven choruses in every song. I think fans of Dinosaur Pile-Up, and their contemporaries such as Pulled Apart by Horses or Grammatics, are going to lap up this song but it won’t turn people like me onto them. At least not yet. There is something there with this band though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they knocked out a surprise summer hit someday. Already a fan of Dinosaur Pile-Up? Go out and buy Derail and show your love. Not convinced by Dinosaur Pile-Up yet? Then watch this space.