Last Dinosaurs – In A Million Years

Just by their average age of 21 years, indie-pop band Last Dinosaurs are exactly what one can imagine them to be. In A Million Years is a showcase of being young adults in a world where twentysomethings are meant to pull their socks up and start acting responsibly. Their music is soaked through and through with this conflict of starry-eyed joie de vivre versus being taken seriously, the subtle difference in radio-friendly hits and being a cornerstone band – evident in their songs which are laden with flamboyant New Romantic-style hooks to boot backed by a contagiously dancey rhythm section alongside space-age fretwork, which juxtaposes neatly against lyrics that ring at themes of, well, skinny-jeaned star-crossed mortality.

Intergalactic album opener “Zoom” has Last Dinosaurs lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Sean Caskey ring in at the bottom of the chorus with “In a million years when we’re older / finally we could be part of history.” While it might be a bit early for them to be making fingerprints on the music scene, the tight rhythm section from drummer Dan Koyama and bassist Sam Gethin-Jones propel the fast fretwork impressively, alongside Lachlan Caskey’s Catchiest Guitar Riff on the album.
Noticeably, the following five or so songs feel relatively cookie-cut – but don’t pigeon hole that as necessarily a bad thing.

On “Andy” the low-swinging bass and jangling disco-esque guitar meld in the intro, suiting the toned down verses perfectly as well as blending into Caskey’s sing-song falsetto. The track is capped off with another catchy yet meaty guitar from brother Lachlan.
With tidal track “Satellite” a lead-in, “Weekend” will translate well into the live experience. Snare drums are reminiscent of thunderclaps, a lead section noodles around, and all bannered underneath a catchy Caskey chorus of “I’ll take you to the park / I’ll take you to the ocean / I’ll kiss you til it’s dark / we’ll go through the emotions.” Feet will be hitting the floor, necks craned and the words will be  belted out to high heaven – it’s as simple as a chick flick.

Around here, the album manages to hit its stride. A misstep on first listen, “I Can’t Decide” is a standout with its brash but melodious punk intro with angular guitars coming from all directions. Last Dinosaurs turn the distortion up on the vocals, guitars and bass, turning the hooks into a fuzzy landscape. “Used To Be Mine” utilises a mellow soft-balladry approach with guitar gently ringing over the intro, creating a dynamic when Caskey’s echoed yet full vocals jump on the chorus.

Off this release, Last Dinosaurs demonstrate a higher level of musicality and direction than their EP Back From The Dead, most evident on the rehashed “Honolulu”. A fuller sound with similarities here and there to the original recording, the variation in production ties up the loose ends with impassioned ooh’s which add punch to Koyama’s explosive skinwork.

Nerd talk aside, again it seems Last Dinosaurs are walking the fine line between twentysomething-ness and being grown up – dancey radio-friendly bubblegum pop against talented musicians who want to be taken seriously. It’s like when that girl looks at you, and you get caught up in that ethereal moment and talk about that happy split-second when she smiled in your direction, that clash of living in the now and brushing it aside. However, Last Dinosaurs got the balance right here, but in terms of how their sound will develop, unfortunately it could be a bit tricky from here on in.
by David Claridad

March 13th 2012
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