Although I’ve been doing this ‘reviewing’ caper for many years now, I still find it difficult to express just exactly what it is that makes me sit up and think that a particular band has that special ‘something’ that helps them shine brighter than most other bands. But whatever it is, I think MINIATURE DINOSAURS have it!
Hailing from my old home town of Stirling, they buck the trend of many Scottish bands in that they do not go for the totally Scottish identity thing. Their natural accents do not poke through the vocals and the music is most definitely not tinged with ‘traditional’ sounds and arrangements.
What MINIATURE DINOSAURS do have is a deep, warm indie-rock sound about them. There is a bit of an Eighties feel about the vocal style of Barry MacLean, but not such that they sound dated in any way. In fact,the slight quirkiness of lead track (and earlier single release) ‘Lemonade,’ has a very catchy and ‘current’ sound. They obviously realise how to get inside their listeners’ memory what with the big hooks and sing-a-long choruses.
‘Lip Sync‘ has a bit of a funky feel to it, again with little Eighties nuances and big dramatic chorus. ‘Next Of Kin‘ highlights a more ‘serious’ side to the band, on a song about returning home to Scotland. The backing vocals on the big ‘whoa whoa’ chorus have a touch of the Sound of Guns about them. So that’s another ‘plus!’
Closing track, and EP title-track ‘Turn It On’ is more of a mid-tempo stomper ….. a little Glam influence mixed in here, maybe? Add the shouted backing vocal, slightly growling guitar riffs and melodic keyboard harmonies and I think we’re onto a winner!
Listening to this EP, it’s easy to see why the hype has been building for these guys – they are both very commercially acceptable (for daytime radio play) but equally I think, they haven’t sold their souls to pander to a specifically young and fickle market. They succeed in being both commercial and credible.
Not many can do this.
(Released through Integrity Records on 22nd October 2012)