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“The psychedelic grooves of early 90s Madchester” – SPIN
“A nebulous, Gang Gang Dance-esque track, ‘Phone Home From The Edge’ is pretty killer whichever way you slice it” – The Stool Pigeon
“Wondrous dance-punk” – Pitchfork
Best Behavior is the debut UK release from Brooklyn, NY’s Dinowalrus, fronted by visual artist and sometime guitarist of Titus Andronicus, Pete Feigenbaum, and backed by Max Tucker and Liam Andrew.
Best Behavior features a meticulous attention to song-structure, production and listenability - an experiment in pushing their interests in krautrock, house music, post-punk and psychedelic rock into their most condensed, vocal-driven, danceable, hooky and coherent form, without losing the unique mad-cap ambience and instrumental playfulness of their earliest material.
Starting with the punchy opening staccato organ stabs of “The Gift Shop”, Best Behavior expresses the subtle optimism of Dinowalrus finding direction and focus, and also the energy brought about by new band-mates and collaborators. Meticulously written, but not over-thought and over-conceptualized: a welcoming point of entry into the band’s unique psychedelic world and historical roadmap. This is the band on its best behaviour.
While the band’s approach has evolved greatly as a result of their stylistic and personnel changes, their musical DNA has remained the same— the band used the exact same palette of analogue synth, guitar, sampler, drum machine (and occasionally sax) sounds in making this album. While their more free-form and noise influenced debut drew inspiration from the feral urban excitement of early 80s NYC no-wave dance music, the new record turns the clock forward and latches onto a few tricks and beats from the acid house phenomenon over here in the UK, finding new crossovers between psychedelic rock and dance music; reopening a strange, fun and vibrant chapter in music history that never quite reached American shores.
Dinowalrus draw heavily on the chemically enhanced beats, bass and organ textures of The Charlatans, and even Stone Roses in places; but also retains their essential spacey Hawkwind, Eno, Bowie, Can and Sonic Youth allusions on the deeper album cuts. Mid-period New Order plays a significant influence as well.
With Primal Scream’s Screamadelica hitting its 20-year anniversary, now is an especially good time for an American band to attempt to bring guitar music and rave together again. And New York, often thought of as American’s most cosmopolitan and European city culturally, is the perfect environment for a rock band like Dinowalrus to be making such a unique appropriation of all things Manchester, Glasgow, Berlin and Ibiza- giving Brooklyn indie kids a new beat with which to dance.
In a contemporary context, Best Behavior, mediates nicely between the futuristic psychedelic synth-pop of Gang Gang Dance, Teengirl Fantasy, and Neon Indian, and the tried-and-true Anglophilic jangle-rock of Wild Nothing and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
1. The Gift Shop
2. Phone Home From The Edge
3. Beth Steel
5. Twenty Seven Club
6. What Now
7. Radical Man
9. Riding Eazy