Any song by noise-rock trio Dinowalrus sounds like it could be two or three different songs: buzzy, scuddy disco a la The Rapture filters into surf rock riffs then waves out into washed-out vocals you might hear on a glo-fi record. And then — oh! the joy! — a guitar solo better than any found elsewhere in the stacks of new releases… then, reverb, synths, a whirl of clarinet… Too much?
This, of course, is their intent. Why fit solidly into any rock genre when you can do it all? That fooled reviewers at Pitchfork, who called their last release “an intriguing, if occasionally nonsensical, sonic blend.” Nonsense is just what Dinowalrus want.
And their live shows prove it. Whether dangling from pipes at Glasslands or showing up at the Mercury Lounge in t-shirts spray-painted highlighter yellow, this band is going for the “wow factor” rock used to have, before it was pronounced dead back there somewhere… The Village Voice hailed them for having “the power, energy, thrust and machinations of a real, live rock band, landing somewhere between the gnash of classic punk and the boogie of ’80s no wave.” And yes — they land somewhere between all genres, somewhere back there when rockers could still pick and choose what they liked without getting pigeon-holed by the press. But this isn’t all about politics, image, the scene. There’s real beauty, too. Listen to “Nuke Duke ‘Em” (a song title that, in its video game reference, would seem about as far away from beauty as a Texas slaughterhouse) and hear those echo-y vocals spit out, “When I was young…” over a soft mix of keyboards and light drums before zooming back up into a rock anthem.
Made up of frontman Peter Feigenbaum — better known, to his chagrin, for his stint playing guitar in Titus Andronicus — Belgian American Josh Da Costa and Kyle Warren, the band-mates all play guitar at some point or another. Da Costa controls the drums and Warren is all over keyboards and synths — as well as providing those weird splashes of clarinet.
Based out of Brooklyn, the band has spent the past few years growing a reputation from the ground up. Formed in 2006, they’ve now opened for everyone in the NY scene from These Are Powers to Crystal Stilts. Their latest release, %, came in January shares a label-mate with past MTV IGGY Fave Surfer Blood, Kanine Records, and they’ve just come out with a new video. The MV for “Electric Car, Gas Guitar” shows the boys holing TVs, pre-programmed Nam June Paik style.
The new video for “Electric Car, Gas Guitar”:
The video for “Bead,” a psychedelic look at Brooklyn’s streets. Both are by director Matthew Caron.
The boys are going on tour, starting today on the West Coast — traveling down from San Francisco to Oakland so if you’re on the West Coast, be sure to check them out. Listen to more tunes on their myspace or download the strangely gorgeous “Nuke Duke ‘Em” here.
Apr 27 San Francisco, California
Hemlock Tavern w/ Tempo no Tempo, Ingot Rot (mems. Tussle)
Apr 28 Santa Barbara, California
BIKO Garage w/ Tempo no Tempo
Apr 29 Los Angeles, California
The Smell w/Signals, Foot Village, Tempo no Tempo, Ezra Buchla
Apr 30 San Diego, California
Che Cafe w/Tempo no Tempo, Endless Bummer, Da Bears
May 1 Los Angeles, California
May 2 Santa Cruz, California
Crepe Place w/ Signals, Tempo no Tempo
May 3 Oakland, California
21 Grand w/Tempo no Tempo, Splinters, Nymph
Photo Courtesy of MTV Iggy