Label: Friends vs Records Release date: 04/10/09 Link: Myspace Buy/Stream: Amazon/Spotify Dinsosaur Pile-Up are English would you believe, from Yorkshire no less. Singer Matt Bigland doesn't seem to want you to know this, and does his best Seattle accent (Read: Kurt Cobain) throughout. Yes, Grunge is being revived in Yorkshire with aplomb. But you probably know all this, Dinosaur Pile-Up were amongst the most hyped of the bands emerging in 2009, The Most Powerful EP in the Universe was well received, and new singles 'Birds and Planes' and 'Mona Lisa' have received much radio play on XFM and Kerrang. They've moved themselves into the outer reaches of the mainstream consciousness, and will be looking to jump into the pool of Radio 2 plays, and hitting the back end of the top 40 with the release of Growing Pains. They have a good chance of doing that, because they sound very loud, are very fun, and know how to write a catchy riff. 'Mona Lisa' is probably the best example of their talents, it demands to be played really, really loud. It doesn't care about poise, and elegance, there's no real semblance of a real emotional depth, it's just lusciously angry guitars, vocals screamed into the microphone and frenzied drums. It sounds great, really great. There's only so much music that can get me strutting around my room pretending to be a rock star, or drumming on my girlfriends back to the tune playing in my head, but 'Mona Lisa' did that. The rest of the album follows pretty much in suit (apart from a few exceptions), and it's the perfect impression of what made Nirvana quite so much fun. What Growing Pains lacks is what made Nirvana quite what they were. Dinosaur Pile-Up make extremely polished grunge, while there are huge amounts of energy, and a suitably gritty voice the songs all feel extremely well produced. While this is of course a good thing in hitting the mainstream, and producing music that jumps off the record and infects your mind, it does not lead to music with much depth. Dinosaur Pile-Up have energy but they lack fury, they may be catchy but they lack the real staying power that great music has, they may be good, but they're not great. Growing Pains has a few moments of quieter reflection, but like the rest of the album they've been polished to a glowing sheen. After all it's the dirt and the grit on music that keeps in interesting. Nirvana were such a brilliant band because of the huge reserves of emotional depth and power they held. Kurt Cobain may have made you want to jump around, but he also made music that made people feel things over than the desire to keep on head banging. Aside from that, lots of great music has been made only with the agenda of playing very loud, and being fun, but such music usually has a feel too it. It feels jagged it's own special way, you feel as if you are there with the band, it feels loud and powerful even when played quietly. Growing Pains doesn't have that feel. Dinosaur Pile-Up have written an immensely fun record that you'll fall in love with the first few times you listen to it. However after time it becomes somewhat more bland. That's a strong word, because the content of the album isn't really bland, they've written some great songs here. Maybe however they are just too fine tuned, and cut down to a nugget of rock. Maybe though Dinosaur Pile-Up are just a fun band, who just want to music that'll make people jump up and down, but aren't really capable of anything beyond that. Considering I've spent the best part of two paragraphs slagging them off, it might not come across as if I actually really like Growing Pains. It may be too polished, but it's a good record, full of a lot of good songs. It deserves to be listened to, and it deserves to be appreciated by a wide audience. Songs like 'Mona Lisa' and 'Birds and Planes' are brilliant brief explosions of fun, and audiences should maybe forget pretences such as depth, and revel in them. Photobucket