Leeds rockers Dinosaur Pile-Up return with the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut album. Lead singer and guitarist Matt Bigland said that he wanted their second album to be “pop songs that kick you in the face and wake you up”. He has certainly achieved this, right from the first few bars of opening track ‘Arizona Waiting’ the uplifting nature of the vocals and classic Americana style rock music grabs your attention and holds it for the entirety of this well crafted eleven track album.
‘Arizona Waiting’ sets the tone with its catchy chorus, heavy guitar riffs and thundering bass. Bigland has mixed the pop element he desired with dark tones creating a nostalgic look back at the work of Nirvana, early Foo Fighters and Weezer but with a unique edge. Where many grunge bands focused on depression and angst Dinosaur Pile-Up highlight the joy derived from the passion and anger this style of music can evoke. The chorus in second track “Derail” is sung in a joyous celebratory fashion whilst the feelings expressed in the lyrics completely contradict that. It’s these contradictions and changes in style and pace which make this album so engrossing.
After such a strong opening there is no sign of the energy relenting as ‘Peninsula’ kicks in with its frantic, uplifting, and breathless chorus. The addition of the punchy, tumbling, drum fills and electrifying guitar licks produce a moment of real euphoria. ‘Summer Gurl’ is also a highlight for the same reasons.
Bigland demonstrates his dexterity with tracks like ‘Wet T-Shirt and Jeans’ and ‘The Way We Came’, proving he is also more than capable of producing slower numbers with the same aplomb.
The variety and sheer quality present in Nature Nurture make it, not only an improvement on Growing Pains but also a one of those albums which would add to any party and a great album for in the car. It would make traffic tolerable and add to the ecstasy of hitting the open road.