by / October 25th, 2010 /

Dinosaur Pile-Up – Growing Pains

 3/5 Rating

(Friends Vs. Records)

Dinosaur Pile-Up, it’s fair to say, plough a rare furrow for a new band these days. In a year dominated by the sterile synthesizer, Matt Bigland & Co appear to be the U.K’s sole purveyors of grunge-pop (a genre that died a death with Weezer’s credibility and although their debut album Growing Pains is achingly indebted to American influences, it provides enough cheap thrills to keep us entertained.

The record begins with ‘Birds & Planes’ – a rollicking juggernaut of a track, all amps to 11, and power chords a plenty. ‘Barce-loner’ zips by in similar fashion, its pummelling drums and bestial bass demonstrative of the simple pleasures that define pop music. From here on in, Growing Pains offers up little in the way of surprises -‘Broken Knee’, ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘My Rock n’ Roll’ regurgitating a winning, albeit unoriginal formula. In their ceaseless endeavour to ape early Foo Fighters and Presidents Of The U.S.A, the Yorkshire trio spend much of this LP tightrope walking between homage and pastiche.

On occasion, some cringe worthy blunders are made. The lighters’ aloft balladry of ‘Hey You’ sees the band drifting dangerously into M.O.R. territory. While the brain-dead bombast of ‘All Around The World’, does much to taint an otherwise enjoyable album. However, despite its obvious drawbacks, Growing Pains is a worthwhile listen. If often a ‘meat & potatoes’ affair, Dinosaur Pile-Up deliver as substantial a meal as we’ll get all year. Still, a bit of dressing wouldn’t go amiss next time.

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube

  • Dan

    Agree totally with the review, they seemed like a band who could have delivered something brilliant but definitely fall short of it. The production of the album is terrible too, really disappointing.

  • I quite liked the production to be honest. The guitars & drums sound huge, and the vocal melodies always shine through. That said, when applied to essentially one type of song for 40 minutes, it wears very thin.