For Fans Of
They have one of the most ridiculous names in music today, but Scottish six-piece Dananananaykroyd are a band concerned with more than just silly puns and excessive syllables. Following the release of their debut album Hey Everyone! in 2009, the band has overcome adversities including lineup changes and an unfortunate incident where co-drummer and co-vocalist John Baillie Jnr. broke his arm in three places while performing in Sydney during the band’s last tour of Australia (an injury so severe that Baillie Jnr. was forced to take up a full-time role on the microphone and retire from his position behind the drum kit). Despite these temporary hardships, Dananananaykroyd have bounced back with a reinvigorated second album titled There Is A Way.
For There Is A Way, Dananananaykroyd have worn down the jagged hardcore edges of their debut album Hey Everyone! in favour of an overall more polished indie rock sound with pop hooks at its center. Their music is still chaotic and often played at a frantic pace, but this time round the band has laced their songs with bigger sing-along choruses and moments that flirt with mainstream rock credibility. A case in point is the unashamedly poppy first single from the album `Muscle Memory’, which kicks along in a playful and uplifting manner and is complete with the kind of chorus that will latch itself to your thoughts for days at a time. While in the past some of their music has tended to sound convoluted by several ideas crammed into the one song, `Muscle Memory’ shows the band distilling their kooky rock ethic down into a more straightforward formula (perhaps influenced by the expertise of renowned producer Ross Robinson). Following a similar blueprint is `Time Capsule’ with its indie rock charm, `Think and Feel’ with its infectious `nah-nah-nahs’ and the thumping rhythm of opening track, `Reboot’. These songs may lack the same hardcore bite of `The Greater Than Symbol and The Hash’ or `Totally Bone’ from their debut album, but instead show Dananananaykroyd expanding their repertoire with songs that will appeal to a wider audience.
Though it shows a slight shift in musical direction from their debut, There Is A Way retains Dananananaykroyd’s quirky and idiosyncratic qualities. For instance, the dual vocal jousting of Calum Gunn and John Baillie Jnr. is one of the band’s strongest points and something that separates them from their peers. Their combined singing, shouts, yelps and wails clash and bounce off one another to reach almost manic heights throughout There Is A Way. Coupled with the band’s desire to mix things up occasionally (as evidenced by the interlude in `E Numbers’ with odd squeaks and whistles), the band inject enough personality and spark into the mix to keep listeners on their toes.
Despite each member’s individual input, some songs do sound a little disjointed and overflowing with ideas at times. `Seven Days Late’ and `Good Time’ are impressive in terms of their various sections that dip and weave amongst each other, but as a whole, they don’t really gel to create something memorable. They are still rough as guts and played with the kind of vigor that would cause other bands to recoil timidly, but lack the same impact of earlier cuts from the album due to their sporadic nature.
Dananananaykroyd are a band that could be considered too hardcore for the indie kids and too indie for the hardcore kids. However, that’s what makes the band interesting; they’re carving their own niche in the market where they play by their own rules. There Is A Way combines their renowned chaotic rock persona with a slicker indie rock edge full of melody and attitude, resulting in an album that’s both unique and bold in character.
2. All Us Authors
3. E Numbers
4. Think And Feel
5. Muscle Memory
6. Time Capsule
7. Good Time
9. Seven Days Late
10. Glee Cells Trade
11. Make A Fist