Dananananaykroyd There Is A Way(Pizza College) Buy it from Insound
I think Dananananaykroyd might be the UK’s most entertaining live band. The gleeful energy, the clever mathy riffs, dual lead singers Calum and John leaping into and embracing the audience, the infamous ‘Wall of Cuddles’ – with a lively crowd, it’s endlessly fun and memorable. But of course the challenge for any great “live band” is whether or not their records can induce the same reaction.
So to best transmit that power onto an LP, Dananananaykroyd have enlisted as a producer the legendary nu-metal & post-hardcore guru Ross Robinson. It’s an interesting choice, given the band’s light-hearted and fitful nature. Robinson certainly bolsters There Is A Way’s meaty riffs and hooks; those guitars sound a bit more Kerrang than NME on this second album. The band’s songwriting too is more restrained and conventional, but always high octane – they scream overwhelmingly through the whole album without really letting you pause for breath.
But I’m constantly wondering whether Robinson is really the best choice for a band with not one but TWO thickly-accented, bratty Scotch vocalists who pronounce the word “capsule” with three syllables (Time Capsule) and yelp hyperactively out of tune with no sense of subtlety (Glee Cells Trade in particular). It works great live, as well as on their first record, Hey Everyone – but the guy who produced testosterone-fuelled classics like At the Drive-In’s Relationship of Command, Glassjaw’s Worship and Tribute, and, er, Korn and Slipknot, probably isn’t the man for this job. Robinson is great at creating brawny, propulsive rock riffs, but the ‘kroyd are just dafter than that – it’s a mismatch.
The main offender is Think and Feel, which sounds like two skinny teenagers doing an impression of a sumo wrestler limbering up. It’s redeemed somewhat by the saxophone squawk climax, but the menacing modal-key guitar hooks really don’t fit the flippant refrain “I get bored, so I go outside, for a beee-er! For a beee-er!”
So that’s my main gripe. But ignore a few irritating mis-steps and there are some great bits of euphoric rock here too: lead single Muscle Memory is spot-on, with an earworm of a chorus about the joy of playing rock music, all the more powerful with the belted-out harmonies which justify their dual-vocal approach. Elsewhere they show off their knack for making complex time signatures sound like natural pop songs; All Us Authors is another standout, and Good Time is a lot of fun, in spite of its lack of form. It’s a gaudy, exhausting record, but if you’re prepared to listen to a band named “Dananananaykroyd”, such exuberance won’t put you off too much.25 July, 2011 - 09:34 — Stephen Wragg