Release Date: Aug 13, 2013
Record label: Dine Alone Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
It seems like much longer than a couple of years since Dinosaur Bones released their debut LP, My Divider. A lot has happened since 2011: METZ blew up; DD/MM/YYYY transformed into Absolutely Free; Broken Social Scene went on hiatus, then got back together again. So where does an indie rock quintet like Dinosaur Bones fit into Toronto's new post-punk landscape? Well, they don't.
In 2011, Dinosaur Bones released their debut album, My Divider, which featured 11 sweetly understated rock'n'roll songs that showcased the keen pop sensibilities from the Toronto, ON band. The general consensus was that the tracks were good, but slightly lacking in depth, demonstrating promise rather than a fully realized sound. For the follow-up, Dinosaur Bones relocated to Texas to record with producer John Congleton, where they "found themselves immersed in a study of sound." They've emerged from this exploration with Shaky Dream, an undeniably, albeit somewhat subtly, more realized effort.
On Shaky Dream, the second full-length from Canadian indie rockers Dinosaur Bones, the band returns with an album of Strokes-esque rock infused with a looser, flowing feeling that helps to give the album a sense of understated cool. There's an interesting interplay at work between the metronomic rhythm work of drummer Lucas Fredette and bassist Branko Scekic and the more atmospheric guitars and keyboards laid down by the rest of the band. This allows Dinosaur Bones' sound to have an exploratory element without ever spinning off into directionless noodling, letting them stay in full control while still keeping songs like "Spins in Circles" and "Career Criminal" on the rails, so to speak.
With Ben Fox’s poetic narratives up front, the remaining four members of Toronto’s Dinosaur Bones collapse into a diminutive figure. Even at his emotive heights, the frontman rarely strains, as if delivering his tales to an inebriated stranger at the end of the bar. The chilling instrumentals that serve as the sonic backdrop for the group’s sophomore LP, Shaky Dream, lurk on the underside of the mix, awaiting their turn to dominate the scene.
Toronto ensemble Dinosaur Bones’ intention behind their second album was to craft a larger and more expansive sound on record. Abiding by the old maxim that the slower you play the bigger you sound, Dinosaur Bones perform these 10 carefully streamlined compositions at a leisurely pace. Shaky Dream neatly sidesteps the potential pitfall of equating anthemics with lumpen bombast—instead of imposing itself upon the listener, the album is assured enough to assume a far more inviting matter-of-fact presentation.