Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Dananananaykroyd- 'Hey Everyone' (Best Before 8/4/09)

Dananananaykroyd occupy a unique place in ridiculous band names history with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. That is the last time that easy review catchpoint will be used, as Danana (a contraction this review will use for ease) are much more than just a silly name. Aren't you glad we got that out of the way?

Much like Danana's previous EP 'Sissy Hits', it takes a few listens for your ears to discern the melody out of the noise. And noise there is, in copious amounts. Witness the racket that ends opener 'Hey Everyone' before melding into the tribal chanting that opens 'Watch This.' Every track could now be listed for examples of parent annoying loudness. But melody is there too. Just listen to the riff at the end of 'Infinity Milk.' Or the opening of 'Some Dresses.' Or a song that demonstrates the perfect balance between noise and melody, '1993.'

Anyone who has listened to the aforementioned EP will experience slight deja vu, as two tracks survive the transition (the aforementioned '1993', and 'The Greater Than Symbol And The Hash'). The latter changes pace between to epic strung out screaming to finish, featuring lyrics about “discovering a new alphabet in the rubble of a destroyed city.” Other reference points on the album include: nervousness, an underground war, and kidnappers. No sex? Duh, of course there is. Check out the barrage of 'Totally Bone.' (Sample lyric: “Stand bare, Except for a headdress or something,
And we can totally bone.”)

Those who have only heard the comparatively gentle single 'Black Wax' will have been misled by a false beacon. It juts out amidst the guitars and the shouting, like an emo donning an M & S suit to meet his girlfriend's parents. The chorus lacks the charm of the rest of the record too, being that wrong side of annoying. You can imagine the record label telling the band “could you do something they'll play on daytime radio?”

However, it's the only (slight) lull in quality. There is rarely a let up in the speaker bashing, bar the gentle minute and a half at the end of '1993', which provides a welcome breather from the onslaught. Regional accents prevail on an album that could have delved into easy Americanisms, given its source material of hardcore and math rock. A broad Scottish brogue is reassuringly audible through all the sonic shrapnel. Danana are always likely to be bracketed with bands like Johnny Foreigner and Los Campesinos! because they try to escape the myopia of British indie. They're not a band you can imagine releasing a song about working in a call centre.

And that's something we should all be thankful for. In an age of globalisation national identities are crumbling, leading, maybe, to a disintegration of the British music stereotype. Oasis, The Verve, and all the dinosaurs can fade away, and be replaced by outward looking, noisecentric, but melody focussed bands like Danana. 'Hey Everyone!' is a debut of rare brilliance, one which will bring a childish grin to your face, and a jig to your step. Get dancing.

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