Leeds trio Dinosaur Pile-Up have had a very unstable career as a band so far. With regular band member shuffles and inconsistent live shows, they’ve never quite lived up to the expectation that their records ignite. ‘Growing Pains’ and ‘Nature Nurture’ both showed Matt Bigland‘s capability to pen decent alternative garage rock tracks, but ‘Eleven Eleven’ showcases the guitar work taking it to another level. The main focus of album #3 sees Dinosaur Pile-Up embracing a rampage of riffs nodding to deep guitar hook bands like Death From Above 1979.
When the Yorkshire band get going, there’s no stopping them on ‘Eleven Eleven’. The songs feel like a long distance race paced incorrectly, so all the energy is exerted in a sprint finish in the last 20 seconds, but in a way that Dinosaur Pile-Up have embraced and mastered. ‘Red And Purple’ and ‘Bad Penny’ have a brilliant Royal Blood-esque sound, yet ‘Anxiety Trip’ has Weezer written all over it before a stoner rock breakdown breaks your neck.
The chorus in ‘Grim Valentine’ keeps up appearances for ‘Growing Pains’ fans, with the ringing of Bigland‘s voice resonating, but for the first time the singer/guitarist pushes himself to try new styles on the album. ‘Might As Well’ is right out of the Cobain hymn book, whereas ‘Friend Of Mine’ doffs its cap to American rockers Cake.
The variance helps keep interest all the way through the album, instead of relying on singles and a handful of moments as the band were somewhat guilty of previously. ’11:11′ leads the record well, but it doesn’t quite open the world up to what they’ll be hearing on the rest of the 11 tracks as they don’t quite hit full throttle by compromising for widespread appeal and radio friendliness.
This is a vast improvement from Dinosaur Pile-Up, but the band have a lot of catching up to do as far as their popularity stands. The assorted ranges on ‘Eleven Eleven’ should capture the hearts of new fans and a new start could be on the horizon. If Bigland keeps this band stable and focused then the future should be getting brighter and brighter.
Written by Michael Heath (@MikeBeef)