(June 10th, Dew Process)
On a fateful night down in Sydney’s Annandale Hotel, Dananananaykroyd drummer-slash-vocalist, John Bailie Jnr, tried to crowd-surf and brutally snapped his arm in three places. After emergency surgery, he realised that he’d not be able to play the drums as hard as their 2009 debut Hey Everyone! required him to.
When it seemed like a situation only a lot of hard liquor could fix, JBJ dropped the drums and took up vocals full time. This was the start of something a lot better; their second album, There Is A Way.
For what Danananaykroyd lost in noise from having two drum-kits, they lost none of their energy and punk aggression. Rather, they gained restraint and even more melody. There Is A Way finds them working with Ross Robinson, whose influence (The man produced Relationship of Command for crying out loud) has polished the hardcore-like intensity to a point of possible cross-over material.
‘Reboot’ opens the album, calling forth the more recent efforts of …Trail Of Dead and setting a standard of boisterousness for all songs to follow, which they do. ‘All Us Authors’ and ‘Glee Cells Trade’ find John Bailie Jnr. and the other lead singer Calum Gunn bouncing off each other vocally, reaching almost hysteria set to art-punk guitars. ‘Muscle Memory’ and ‘Think and Feel’ sound like a dancier and punker Les Savy Fav, both being catchier than Malaria in a third-world country. The latter ‘Da-na-na-na-na-na-na’ hook is likely to burrow into your head. ‘Make A Fist’ and ‘Seven Days Late’ are just incredibly epic, the latter of which is not just the best track on the album, but one of the best of this year.
On the list of worst band names ever, Dananananaykroyd would have to rate fairly high. It’s a clear given. However, don’t dismiss them because of the name, as they’ve also become one of the best punk bands around with the release of There Is A Way. The crazy Scots have taken the relentless aggression and melody from their debut and channelled it into a fiercely precise dance-punk record. It’s precise and loose, aggressive and melodic, anarchic and restrained and above all, just really fun. If there’s a fault with this album, it’s not blatantly obvious. Other rock bands, are you even trying?