After a wobbly release schedule for their previous record ‘Eleven Eleven’, Yorkshire’s Dinosaur Pile-Up are back, fittingly to their fourth album’s title being released through Parlophone Records. ‘Celebrity Mansions’ is their attempt at creating a larger than life, heavily Americanised record that borders on satiring how rock bands are perceived in 2019.
The glaring problem, however, seems to be that some of the cliche rock tropes that DPU play around with are sort of funny at best, and painful at worst. ‘Thrash Metal Cassette’s’ playful pop-punk chorus is innocent enough, however, its momentum is derailed by the schoolgirl chants of “Put it up yeah, put it up for thrash metal.”
Similarly ‘Back Foot’ incorporates unappealing Faith No More/Limp Bizkit impersonations from frontman Matt Bigland, croaning about how he’s “Getting paid £6.80 to wait on tables of rich ladies and their dogs.” It’s entertaining for the first few plays but quickly becomes tiresome and silly.
Their efforts are further hindered by self-indulgent acoustic guitar segments, especially on ‘Round The Bend’ and ‘Celebrity Mansions’. These dynamic shifts in styles might be appealing for some fans, but they don’t have much substance behind them, other than a half-hearted spread of modern life fatigue.
To Dinosaur Pile-Up‘s credit, it’s likely a breath of fresh air for them to create an album with a playful demeanour compared to the rest of their discography, which veered constantly into doom and gloom. The raw guitar build ups that feel like a kick in the teeth are still on certain cuts here, a staple that set the band apart in their early days. They continue to be hard hitting on ‘Pouring Gasoline’ and ‘K-West’, trading moody energy for positivity.
Despite their headstrong “no fucks given” approach, ‘Celebrity Mansions‘ will undoubtedly polarise their long term listeners and confuse newcomers. If this was entirely their intention, then their work here is done.
‘Celebrity Mansions’ by Dinosaur Pile-Up is out 7th June on Parlophone Records.
Words by Ashwin Bhandari (@GIVEUPOX17)