Dinosaur Bones - My Divider
Record Label: Dine Alone
Release Date: March 8, 2011
Dinosaur Bones are an alternative rock band from Toronto. My Divider is their debut full-length, following last year's Birthright EP.
How Is It?
It should prove to be quite enjoyable for fans of moody '90s indie rock and post-hardcore, as well as the more guitar-centric bands from the '00s who mix atmosphere with catharsis. The album opener "Making Light" sets the stage, as it's very representative of My Divider as a whole, with it's fiery guitar and rumbling bass evoking ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's blend of intimate emotion and fist-pumping bombast. While there is some lighter-sounding fare on the album, most notably the mildly catchy jangle-pop of "Bombs in the Night", it's primarily a brooding affair, but given the band's talent with more somber material, this is definitely not a cause for complaint.
For proof of the band's knack for nailing emotionally charged tunes, look no further than the album highlight (and one of the year's very best tracks) "N.Y.E.", on which vocalist Ben Fox sounds similar to Julian Casablancas, but the song couldn't be further from The Strokes in terms of feel; rather, a more accurate comparison might be a keyboard-heavy Far, or perhaps Mineral. Songs about New Years can be rather serious (Death Cab for Cutie's "The New Year") or playfully humorous (The Dismemberment Plan's "The Ice of Boston"), but almost always reflective, and "N.Y.E." is no different. Elsewhere on My Divider, Fox unveils a pretty spot-on Tim Kasher impersonation, particularly on the explosive "Hunter", which also boasts some sharp Cursive-esque guitar work. Though heavy but melodic riffs are almost a ubiquitous presence, Dinosaur Bones prove themselves more than capable with a stripped-down ballad with the spacy "Ice Hotels".
My Divider does run into an inevitable snag or two along the way. "Life in Trees" opens auspiciously with an ominous guitar line, but as a whole, it comes off sort of flat and ultimately drags by. "Royalty", while possessing more of a driving tempo, fails to capitalize on the momentum, delivering only a weak half-hook. Despite the occasional slip-up in execution, you can't go wrong with the influences Dinosaur Bones display here, and they offer more than enough praiseworthy material to make the album a recommended listen, invoking the morose, contemplative spirit of '90s indie without resorting to out-and-out worship.
good review, agreed on most things except I think of it as a more relaxed record than you seem to. glad you noticed the Kasher/Casablancas similarities, no one else seemed to. lots of Radiohead comparisons instead. anyway, one of the best so far this year.