There’s a certain kind of gentle, emo-y, math-y sound – perfected by bands like TTNG, or Johnny Foreigner in their quieter moments – that to me at least is the audio equivalent of sliding into a hot bath or sitting down on an old, squashy sofa that sucks you in. It’s the early, cold autumnal morning of songs, clear and thin and bright with the sun just cresting the hills to slip into the cloudless sky. As the soft hiss of rain that begins the intro track ‘Tears Are A Language’ faded in, I was pretty sure this was going to be another one of those albums.
Shapes Like Dinosaurs are criminally undiscovered, having been releasing music intermittently since their (hilariously named) 2008 EP ‘Jurassic Geometry’. They waste no time in confirming their mathy credentials, with ‘Kitten Can Noodle’ beginning with a complex series of syncopated phrases as gentle multi-layered vocals croon over the top. Dual guitar twinkles are balanced out by a thick, refreshingly prominent bassline that wanders melodically along at the low end, tied together by dynamic but measured drum work.
The band sometimes take on a more angular tone, such as towards the end of ‘Voices Rant On’, where the bass leads the band in a tight, stumbling 7/4 groove as the EP approaches one of it’s most vocally intense moments before smoothing out again. Other small touches keep the music fresh, from the faint rhythmic clapping in ‘Marvelous Syntax’ to the band’s preoccupation with audio clips that are sprinkled throughout the record.
Shapes Like Dinosaurs have produced another fantastic record that is structurally exciting, musically agile and engagingly cryptic in the lyrics department. Every listen reveals some new feature or interesting choice, and I look forward to playing this EP until it’s deader than this band’s namesake.
math rock, emo, vocals, ethereal, twinkly, disjointed riffs
Sounds A Tad Like
TTNG, The Speed Of Sound In Seawater, Lana Avacada