Be it because of their dramatic inter-band tension (two of the three members left before completion of the album) or their explosive rock sound, Dinosaur Pile-Up have established themselves as one of the most interesting and exciting young British bands in a long time. On this, their debut album Growing Pains, the trio cut loose and justify all of the hype they've been receiving.
The album opens with recent single (and my personal introduction to the band) Birds and Planes; a fast-paced high energy rock song. When I reviewed the single earlier in the year I hoped the quality of this song was representative of the rest of the album. It was. From tracks one right through to twelve, Growing Pains will kick your ass around the place freely and happily.
Track two - Barceloner - is another high energy rock song, recalling The Vines or The Hives. These super-fast songs are great, simple and straight to the point. There's no faulting this: it is a meat and potatoes rock album.
Elsewhere you get the more Weezer-esque punk-pop of Never That Together. It's all harmonised vocals and thick power chords. It isn't a bad imitation of the Pinkerton sound. New single Mona Lisa follows on from this in much the same vein. It is a solid album.
You could argue that the album isn't all that versatile, but when a band is as good at what they do as Dinosaur Pile-Up are, you can forgive them for sticking to a formula. The one opportunity they take to step outside of their box is on the dark five minute epic Hey You - and you definitely feel like they are out of their comfort zone, which is a shame given their brazen confidence in evidence throughout the rest of the album.
The album closes with All Around the World, another trashy, loud, fast punk rock song. Matt Bigland & co finish the album on a noisy high with squeals of feedback, doing what they do best. Dinosaur Pile-Up's debut might not be the most ground breaking album of the year, nevertheless it is still a cracking debut from a band who always seem like they are standing on the edge of implosion.