Dinosaur Pile-Up have been one of UK bands who have been kicking round for quite some time, picking up some impressive support slots along the way; most notably Brand New, but have never got the commercial praise to match those of the critics. ‘Eleven Eleven’ is album number three for the trio and having shown a 90s grunge/surf-rock style previously, this time round Dinosaur Pile-Up is a more gritty, tougher effort.
The eponymous title track sets the format out early with crushing guitars and an explosive chorus that is preluded by an intense build. It sets the bar high by some enthralling drum work and sturdy bass lines. ‘Red and Purple’ keeps up the momentum with a playful, addictive chorus led by power chord-charging guitars while its tempo has a favourable urgency.
By the time you hear ‘Grim Valentine’ and ‘Friend of Mine’, it’s clear Dinosaur Pile-Up have pinned down the knack of producing larger-than-life rock songs that have the right balance of being raw and dense, yet accessible.
This could be considered a negative as there is little change in song structure, yet there is a likeable energy about what Dinosaur Pile-Up do. Songs like ‘Nothing Personal’ and ‘Anxiety Trip’ are crisp and straight to the point. Sometimes there is no need to over-complicate things.
As a cohesive record, the lack of variation hinders it, yet when you have songs as bold and favourable as ‘Might As Well’, ‘Willow Tree’ and ‘Crystaline’, you can forgive them. The former noticeably marks an improvement in Matt Bigland’s vocals.
Although it may not have enough substance or variation to take Dinosaur Pile-Up to the next level, ‘Eleven Eleven’ does have an array of strong songs that should turn new listeners into fans. A solid and focused step of progression from a band that will sooner than later get their dues.
‘Eleven Eleven’ by Dinosaur Pile-Up is released on October 16th on So Recordings.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)