Left Turn On Red
Immediately after reviewing that Transylvanian Stud record, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for similar sounding projects. This was to be expected, however these bands definitely need the promotion. One such act is Dinosaur Eyelids, hailing from New Jersey. According to the concert flyer that the band enclosed (Thanks, guys!) their motto is, “We May Never Be Rich, But We Will Always Be Loud.” It’s a good motto for these sludgy doom-rockers, who craft mostly fairly short compositions with the exceptions of opener “Day Zero” and “L.A. Lady” which are still fairly into the four-minute mark. I found it interesting that the last four cuts on the album never moved past the three-minute mark. I guess this makes it easier for the band to get a greater variety of music in a fifteen to thirty minute set. As far as the sound goes, Kyuss, Floor and perhaps even Helmet seem to have a place here within what I would definitely consider a powerfully warm (the riffs are so fuzzy that you could use the disc as a heater, should yours go out during this winter season) performance that just wants the listener to rock out, more or less. “Basilone Bridge” immediately channels Soundgarden in the first couple of riffs as well, so there’s that. The band’s frontman Evan Staats has a rather glassy voice which I found a bit aggravating when I first jammed the disc from my mobile app, Pulsar – but now that I’m getting another listen to the record on my tuned Skullcandy laptop speakers (Hey, don’t talk shit about my Skullcandies!) I actually find his vocals to be quite tolerable, even enjoyable. The man definitely has a feel for melody and the lines are delivered with plenty of passion. As for personal influences, the band cites Black Sabbath and Soundgarden as you might expect; but also The Replacements and Ween, of which I’ve never heard. That also might be why the stark change in sound as we get into “Neshanic” and “L.A. Lady” which definitely bring us a different feel that the first couple of pieces. It basically rolls from the heavy territory right into that of alternative rock that I think The Edge down here would play in a heartbeat.
These guys claim to be real rock and roll, which I’ll certainly vouch for. That doesn’t always mean heavy, as ballad “Whiskey” showcases pretty well with acoustics and a harmonica. It is a bit of an unexpected segue, but I can’t blame these guys for deviating from the style of their first three cuts which would have made for a boring and less varied release. That doesn’t surprise me, seeing as Turn Left On Red is the band’s third full-length. Guitarist Patrick McKnight proves his worth in versatility here as well, with a good mix of rock, heavy metal and overall psychedelia that I feel should be on the rock radio right now. According to my press info, most of the focus tracks here are all FCC approved, which means that practically any radio station could play them, and they’d hit pretty hard at that.
The problem with our local radio station here in Arkansas, is that they seem to think that the same few hard rock acts played over and over will appeal to people to the effect that they’ll never get bored. If it’s not nineties nostalgia, its modern acts like Five Finger Death Punch and Volbeat who get played almost endlessly. Then they have to remind us of Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, while bringing up Linkin Park and Disturbed classics all in the same playlist. As we’re drowning in all of this nostalgia, people are literally forgetting that new music in the rock genre is still being created. Though this could also be the reason why people are changing over to satellite radio, which is little better – but to be honest, I’m not hearing as many obscure acts as there as I would have liked. With ten or twenty new albums releasing almost every twenty-four hours, there just isn’t enough promotion going around for all of these acts. (It’s just an influx of music that no one in their right mind could ever completely cover.)
That being said, Dinosaur Eyelids definitely have what it takes to rock, even though their fans and certain sections of the music industry are already aware of that. What’s peculiar to me, is why I haven’t heard of them before now?
(11 Tracks, 35:00)
Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)