Save for a rare select few, it’s an inevitability that a band will hit a wall which sees them want to expand and, more importantly, mature. Just as inevitable is the fan backlash which will declare a defying of the outfit’s roots and an abandonment of what made them initially so exciting. Although Dinosaur Pile-Up‘s sophomore effort certainly cannot be the target of such drastic accusations, there’s certainly a visible deal of growing up which has been done during ‘Nature Nurture’, proving to dampened the fire somewhat.
With their foot planted firmly on the pedal, there’s no denying that the band can still kick up a hugely enjoyable stomp, such as in the riffy bombastic of ‘Heather’ and the frantic infectiousness of ‘Draw A Line’, yet throughout ‘Nature Nurture’ there seems to be a rather fatal desire to focus on some limp introspectivisms rather than their established reckless abandon. Tracks such as ‘White T-Shirt And Jeans’ whilst being inoffensive enough channel a sub-Weezer spirit which proves to sap energy and momentum, with indeed lead single ‘Derail’ one of the biggest offenders here, its delicate melodies and sunny demeanor failing to mask what is a song undeniably too reserved for its own good.
‘Nature Nurture’ is by no means a bad record. When hitting their stride, the album proves to pack a fleeting, youthful punch rivaling anything from debut ‘Growing Pains’, yet the unfortunate fact remains that the riff fueled rush is far too often absent with a somewhat dip in songwriting muscle taking precedent. Die-hard fans may be stated, but for the rest of us the brief highlights see ‘Nature Nurture’ as perhaps one that my be quickly forgotten.
Written by Tony Bliss