Album Review: Dananananaykroyd
Facts about this album:
* Dananananaykroyd are Laura Hyde, David Roy, John Baillie Jnr, Duncan Robertson, Paul Carlin and Calum Gunn.
* ‘Hey Everybody’ is their debut album.
* Laura Hyde is married to Barry Hyde of The Futureheads.
Although we haven’t yet had the kind of underground breakthrough that saw home-fanzine producing, bedroom-label-running indie pop kids Bis bag a couple of Top 40 hits in the mid-’90s, there’s been plenty of signs lately that UK indie (and when I say indie, I mean the type that might have been called C86 many moons ago), might be preparing to burst to the surface once more.
Think about it: you’ve got Los Campesinos! releasing albums that are K Records-referencing odes to the DIY lifestyle, Johnny Foreigner updating Urusei Yatsura’s Sonic Youth-gone-bubblegum-shtick. London is awash with hairclip bands such as 586 and The Indelicates, while omnipresent capital city scene lords Art Brut are writing songs about DC comics and chocolate milkshakes. Meanwhile, until their demise, The Long Blondes were the kind of trashy grrrl group indie-pop fans yearned for forever. Already there’s
a new band in Sheffield called Navvy waiting to fill their (thrift-shop) boots.
Now, out of Glasgow – which from The Pastels to Bis to The Yummy Fur has good previous at this sort of
thing – (finally, after teasing us with singles and EPs for three years) comes the debut album from six-piece Dananananaykroyd (which is either the best or worst band name ever conceived, depending on how juvenile/stoned you are). They’re a bit like Shellac without the rawk bits, or The Fall singing Belle & Sebastian songs, or Pere Ubu gone speed metal. Whatever. They certainly go to bed at night looking at posters of Helen Love rather than Kasabian.
‘Hey Everyone’ is a relentless listen. It takes until the 10th song, the chamber-pop of ‘1993’, for there to be any kind of respite from the onslaught of hyperactive guitars and ‘I need to wee’ vocals and, even then, a minute later there’s huge crushing bar-chords. Preceding that, though, are at least five songs that would top any Festive 50 poll if they were released as seven-inches.
In that respect, Dananan’s first album proper suffers from the same problems as Los Campesinos!’ flawed debut; ‘Black Wax’ and ‘Pink Sabbath’ are both thrilling, if wonky, pop songs, but they could be appreciated more fully as singles rather than back to back.
So while it’s unlikely that the Glasgow band will break through like their city folk a decade ago, their debut has certainly added to the crack that’s growing across the route to the mainstream.