Search The Line of Best Fit
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"There Is A Way"

Dananananaykroyd – There Is A Way
17 June 2011, 08:59 Written by Simon Tyers

Surely no artist has ever defined their sound as accurately as when Dananananaykroyd delineated themselves as ‘fight pop’. Their debut Hey Everyone! was the audio equivalent of a Looney Tunes fight scene, a massive mid-air cloud of dust from which guitar necks, battered drumsticks and whipped about mike cables would occasionally poke at odd angles. Live they were and remain borderline ridiculous, overdriven rough-house energy being the least of it once the dual frontmen and associate spiralling guitarists get going, let alone the banter and celebrated ‘Wall Of Cuddles’ that emphasises this is not a band given to black-clad shoe-staring moroseness.

That sort of thing makes it strange at first that they’ve hired Ross Robinson, production avatar of all things nu-metal, to oversee There Is A Way. In some places, not least for the first half of the first track, it shows. Things are more cleaned up, the sense that everyone is pulling melodically together more by luck than judgement wiped clean and remodelled into another coasting, vaguely commercial rock band. The second drumkit has been abandoned, the riffs less likely to constantly fold back on themselves like Mobius strips, the hooks more immediately radio friendly. Of course, Calum Gunn and John Baillie Jnr are before long bellowing over each other in accents thick enough to sound both friendly and threatening and we’re comfortably back in the realm of choreographed chaos.

No matter what stronger melodies or non-balladic Biffy Clyro-like driving behemoth are apparent, underneath the studio polish there’s always a positive hardcore monster waiting to escape. With its fist pumping chorus, seemingly about the song itself, ‘Muscle Memory’ is likely to be the closest they’ll ever come to a radio friendly unit shifter, and that features thirty seconds just after the heroic solo where everything briefly stops, Baillie Jnr and Gunn start repeatedly screaming “YOU’D! LIKE ME BETTER! IF I LIKED YOU LESS!” as everyone’s parts trip over everyone else’s. Then the song picks up as if nothing untoward had ever happened. The taut ‘All Us Authors’ pelts through a variant of Mission Of Burma’s high wire theatrics with busy drums and knife edge riffs, while the ascending licks of ‘Time Capsule’ reasserts what the indie kids saw in them before a stomping conclusion and ‘Good Time’ reasserts their wayward grasp of both consistent time signatures and sense. Conversely ‘Think And Feel’ is virtually disco as post-hardcore nutcases would envision it, featuring both a “whoa-oh-oha” and a “da-na-na-na” in the pre-chorus as the bass finds its groove. Towards the end for full post-DFA hipster points there’s a sax solo, if one that heads steadily more James Chance-like atonal before seemingly being forcibly drowned.

There’s a notable dip before the end and its frankly Queen-like harmonics on ‘Make A Fist’, a period when listening to razor-sharp speedy riffs and two oddball Glaswegians shouting over each other becomes as exhausting as watching them often feels, albeit in a different and less entertaining way. All the same, if the previous tendency to pull songs apart to form splintered edges has been reined in and diluted with bigger choruses there’s still more than enough in their indie-hardcore tornado to feel like an assault on the senses. Despite the name producer and more straightforward sonics they’re still the same band – battering ram bouncy, bizarre, brilliant.

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