Leeds-based trio Dinosaur Pile-Up have got some front – barely a year into writing spiky, grunge-echoing songs, they’ve already reached the point where they reckon their rock is the hottest around. That, or this five-track offering’s title is to be pronounced with a fat tongue tucked tightly into an accommodating cheek?
The Most Powerful EP in the Universe! is no Glenn/Rhoda (Google it) in terms of lasting influence, given its lo-fi slacker atmosphere which recalls vividly the very best of Seattle’s early 90s sound, and the surrounding college-rock standard-bearers – Pavement, we’re looking at you. But as an introduction to a band that could, if given a fair crack at this music-for-a-living lark (ie, if they’re brave enough to ditch the day jobs), become quite the live draw on the domestic scene, it’s a fine collection indeed.
Chunky riffs and punchy percussion dominate, from blistering opener Summer Hit Single through to the swampy murk of beach Bug via Cat Attack!!’s quirky new wave undertones. Vocally frontman Matt Bigland (formerly of never-quite-made-it types Mother Vulpine) can occasionally come over like Chris Cornell if the Soundgarden man was raised on Yorkshire Tea and mutton hotpot, but that’s no bad thing – while nostalgia’s stirred regularly, the trio’s tautness ensures that influences are acknowledged without the end product ever tumbling into excessive imitation. You believe them, which is what carries this EP to its conclusion without the listener turning instead to something a little more of the era.
With fellow townsfolk Sky Larkin, Grammatics and Pulled Apart By Horses looking likely to graduate from Introducing-level acclaim to wider audiences before the year is out, Dinosaur Pile-Up are a good shout for turn-of-the-year tipsters should the seemingly endless 80s revival fizzle out. Their brand of rock might not single itself out as particularly unique, but the energy contained in these tracks is amazingly addictive. Live, the songs are catchier still, with the infectious enthusiasm the trio exude highly contagious throughout a crowd of any size.
With tastemaker DJs like Huw Stephens – who included the band on his recent Music Sounds Better With Huw compilation – and Zane Lowe on the band’s side, it’s difficult indeed to not see Dinosaur Pile-Up roaring their way into the affections of the public. --Mike Diver
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