Fun-loving and invigorating Dubliners give previous little about themselves away, but make amends with some stunning sounds.
DIYSCO is available at:
The album DIYSCO is available at:
FUN is a subject, that has had little exploration or consideration...
as of late. A great deal of music today is overly po-faced, or else dripping with emotion and anxiety. Very few contemporaries actually dedicate a lot of time to the nature of good-time fun and exhilaration. Rock and indie acts can pervade hard riffs and foot-stomping beats, but lurking beneath the notes there is always some form of negativity; and the abiding sound comes off as more violent than it does loving. I suppose getting the formula right is a difficult task. Disco and funk are probably the genres that exemplify this fun nature; songs drip with sexiness and excitement: where are the equivalents today? In a sense, personal narratives and love songs are the most common, and most sought-after type of tracks; these tend to be more restrained and insular. It is not even a case of making a career out of disco-esque tracks either: the odd few will suffice. I have encountered a few acts that are producing this type of music; ranging from Swedish duo Club 8, through to U.S. act The Open Feel. Aside from the odd one or two, one has to search long and hard to find something that makes you want to get up and dance, tap your feet and smile. R 'n' B and modern pop has cheery and sugary shades; most of which are soulless and infused with electronic nonsense and auto-tuned vocals. I have been waiting for bands to come along that have an innate knowledge of the disco sounds of the '70s, and can update the sound and potency, to appeal to a modern-day audience. If you can produce an album or E.P. that has something with some 1970s/'80s dance to it, and tie that together with some harder and more emotional numbers, then you are better prepared to win a war that has long been raging in the music industry. As much as anything recently, I have been saddened and essentially irritated by the lack of originality and identity in modern acts. Kiran Leonard was a recent find whom managed to be original and multi-talented too: but he is a rare exception. A vast majority of every new act I have encountered can be tied to an existing act. The main issue lies with singers, whom get it into their head that the way to success and recognition is to mimic their idols. Bands also choose to ape popular acts, with a great deal of modern rock bands tending to rip-off Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age. It is infuriating, as it shows a distinct lack of talent as much as anything: anyone can mimic pretty much anyone; originality is the hardest thing to achieve. When thinking of genres that are under-explored and little-heard-of, then the likes of disco and swing are in need of attention. Few have given closer attention to these genres, and by re-discovering their charm and effectiveness, an originality and foresight is unveiled, that few have latched onto.
Hailing from Dublin, the intruigingly-named tieranniesaur, give little away about themselves or their influences. I have found with a great deal of new acts, that the music alone stands on the social media and official websites: but not a lot of anything else. I am always keen to know more about the members; where they come from; who their idols are etc. It is understandable that the music has to tell most of the story, but a little bit of revelation and biography often draws in more fans, and inspires others too. In the flesh, they are a beautiful and fashionable bunch. The women are beautiful and ice-cool; the men equally cool as well. The band have been received with a lot of critical acclaim, and their sounds and ambitions have been championed and met with excitable praise. The thing that strikes my hardest, and impresses me most, is the group's eye for intelligent and memorable design work. Aside from the band's fashions; a mix of casual cool, and elegant chic; the album cover is something that impressed me hugely. It is a picture of circus ground mystery and retro quirkiness. Mounted by a vanity mirror, the image is filled with lights, sharp edges and colours, with DIYSCO in bold gold, running diagonally. In the O is a white-faced woman; ruby-red lips with a pearl necklace. It is a striking, original and sums up the band beautifully: original lines and patterns, and bold and memorable statements and scenes. In lieu of extensive biography or quotations, the album cover says volumes about the band's intentions, styles and sounds. If one was to pin the album down to one or two succinct words, I would say: variation. The titles themselves are packed with ruminations of the otherworldly and delicious. Looking Up The Skirts Of Giants, Horses With Melting Eyes and Chill Bros give no indication of what lies within, but provide plenty of curiosity and excitement. This year is one where May onwards promises the best results. The National, Queens of the Stone Age, Laura Marling are names whom prove my point, and where new music is concerned the bold and innovative directions of tieranniesaur are planting their flag firmly.
Their single DIYSCO, has been gathering a lot of attention, and is the 2nd track from their album of the same name. Its rush and strike from the first few seconds, raises the energy levels and grabs you firmly. No time is spent letting you absorb any notes or sounds: the hit is direct and instant. The band, singing of "things I'm not opposed to", wash the atmosphere with enlivened and spirited vocals. Our female heroines chorus and weave inside one another's voices; creating a vibrant spark of invigoration. Percussive rolls and dives mix with funky strings and disco flavours, eliciting '70s sensations and a dancing stomp. The band keep the music tight, taut and atmospheric. Twangs, beats and strings bounce and keep the mood alive and focused, as the vocals strike up front. Messages about not compromising in a relationship. Youthfulness, spirit and passion are keywords when summing up the vocals; they are at the top of the mix, and not drowned by the music at all. The song has a polished and professional sound, giving evocations of U.S. disco, as well as hints of modern-day European music. Our heroines say "Maybe I should do what most do"; their voices echoing and sparring with one another. Whoops and rushes are unleashed at intervals too, always infusing the track with energy, joy and excitement. It is impressive how the vocals are delivered during the chorus. It is not just high-pitched vocals to be heard; the girls swoop and dive. Every part of the track is given fond consideration, to create maximum impact. In the back, supporting the foreground, the disco strings create funky and twisting sounds, the percussion remaining steady and powerful. These sonic touches augment the voices, which keep impressively convincing and impassioned. Never is there a sense that here is a band in 2013, trying to recapture the spirit of a by-gone era, with lesser-heard-of sounds. Throughout there is authenticity and tieranniesaur could easily fit in 1970s New York; there is a club sound that would seamlessly fit there, and has a ready-made charm that can win over today's crowds. Your hands and feet are powerless to resist the charm of the track, as it rides a constant wave. When a piano line is injected into the composition, the words "so crazy" are sung: at once robust and punchy, the next more subdued and seductive. In the minds of our protagonists, an easy life and stress-free life is required; romance and bonds with little hassle and strife. It is difficult trying to think of a modern-day equivalent of the song, and indeed the overall sound. Even the other more disco-orientated tracks I have heard over the past few months, have not been as restless and diverse as DIYSCO. The track never lets up, and surprises constantly. The chorus' mandate is repeated to great effect, and is the one constant. Musical backing keeps moving and manoeuvring, changing to fit and augment the vocal, as well as create its own gravity and potency. The girls harmonise and play off of one another; playfully and always with the sense of a smile. In terms of the themes of the song, it strays away from the good-love-gone band parables, and instead provides a more positive and persuasive delight. Never is there a sense throughout that too many hearts have been broken; in that sense it is every bit a disco track, but one very much suited to the 21st century. When the vocal rabble talking of "Falling in love at the DIYSCO", there is a slur and rush and heady intoxication to the delivery, which mixes a multitude of vocal lines together, and summons up a rush, before being supported by stern and strange sounds, which combined with the twinkling notes and glitter edges ends the track.
I am not too worried by the slight mystery surrounding the band, and where they are going. The album speaks for itself. Love Makes A Frightening Sounds would probably be my standout, but the entire record is crammed with a range of different avenues that will please and delight a mass of different music lovers. In spite of them being a new name to my mind, I have been motivated to investigate their past moves, and am giving the album a good listen as well as it is well worth a listen. It stands up to repeated listens as well, and different tracks will do different things at different times to you; some are slow-burners; others immediate in their intention. My point about there being a lot of hopeless derivation and tributing in music stands firm. It is an issue that is huge now, and one suspects with the rising tide of new acts, will only become worse to a absurd degree. Those whom are willing to bite their tongue and seek bands and acts that promise and promote different and original sounds, will find a lot to love about tieranniesau. DIYSCO is one classic example of how you can tie together threads from different decades and genres, and come up with something that is striking. I am not sure why so many modern artists are not able to, as it seems that with a bit more innovation, effort and intuition would lead to a stronger scene in general. It is encouraging that there are bands like these Dubliners, whom are fresh and determined to make a big impression. Take a look at their album and investigate the colours and shadows that lie within each of the 13 tracks, as there will be something in there for everyone. They are clearly a very talented bunch, and hopefully a band that will keep producing material for a very long time to come. For all the lack of fun, energy and individuality within music, it is refreshing that not everyone is determined to cause haughty derision amongst the impassioned and dedicated listener. We need to find bands like tieranniesaur, that can distill the swarms of acts, who are the poor man's equivocations. It is true enough that...
THIS year it is required, as much as any there has ever been.