Dinosaur Pile-Up - Celebrity Mansions - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dinosaur Pile-Up - Celebrity Mansions

by Nathan Fidler Rating:8 Release Date:2019-06-07
Dinosaur Pile-Up - Celebrity Mansions
Dinosaur Pile-Up - Celebrity Mansions

“I’ve been eating the dirt since I was back up in Leeds”, Matt Bigland opines on ‘Thrash Metal Cassette’, a gut-busting mix of gnarly riffs, tuneful chorus and even a cheerleading section. He might not have expected to be singing songs about being on tour and success, but he’s also not afraid to poke a little fun at himself at the same time.

That’s what Dinosaur Pile-Up’s fourth album, Celebrity Mansions, certainly feels like a less frustrated effort compared with Eleven Eleven, an album which faced a delayed release. As he mentions himself, Bigland hails from Leeds but has, since day one, been striving to match the beastly sound of Seattle grunge and the rock behemoth that is Dave Grohl.

In fact, he name-drops Grohl and Cobain on ‘K West’ a song which is in constant risk of slipping into ‘Beverly Hills’ by Weezer territory. “I get stoned with Dave but look like Kurt”, is his not-so-subtle nod to his major influences, but thankfully the heavy riff and inoffensive chorus keep this track from going too far, though only just.

Having been picked up by a big label in Parlophone, it’s hardly surprising that this album feels better in terms of production and energy. Bigland has bags of the latter to spare, capable of carving out infectious rock songs which don’t lean on any of the more popular genres of the moment to get your attention. ‘Pouring Gasoline’ is a fuzzy, rattling number going at breakneck speed with a fiery chorus about “fairweather friends”, while ‘Stupid Heavy Metal Broken Hearted Loser Punk’ feels like a pop-punk song tied to a car battery, with a bruising, sparky riff and a heartfelt lament part-way through surrounded with bird-tweets.

For the most part, Bigland is applying devilishly cartoonish energy to the guitars with an effortlessly crafted range of melodies recalling all his favourite bands. ‘Long Way Down’ at the back end of the album puts both hands on the wheel and takes a more serious tone lyrically, but this is a total outlier in comparison to the likes of ‘Back Foot’ where he sings about waiting tables and oozes confidence as he reels off what “all you jealous bitches know you want”. Bigland, across the album, yearns for success but wants it on his own terms and wants to truly earn it.

Clearly, a Brit brought up on American Rock from the 90s and further back, it’s no shameful thing to say that this is likely to be one of the best rock albums of the year. What’s so shameful is that there are few bands out there in Britain who can put a pure, enjoyable riff together with enjoyable melodies and lyrics in the same way.

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