Lately, the remix of Zoom; a single by Australian band Last Dinosaurs, has been making the rounds on South African radio. After the third time hearing the track, one is bound to start singing along. As a serial collector of music, with a fine ear for Indie, my interest was captivated and I had no choice but to learn more about the makers of such a melodic track.
The four musicians (not the prehistoric reptilian creatures that use to roam the Earth) from Brisbane, Australia who contribute to the unique sound of the Last Dinosaurs are brothers Sean and Lachlan Caskey, Dan Koyama and Sam Gethin-Jones, who left the band earlier in 2013. In an interview with blogger Lucy Croke, the band members described themselves as nerds who were hardly rock stars. Well, that solves the mystery behind the science-inspired name and the title of the debut album, ‘In a Million Years’ which was released in 2012.
The music is fresh and different, and reminds one of the sound of Irish band Two Door Cinema Club, while still maintaining the distinctive identity of Last Dinosaurs. The lyrics are narrative of a relationship passed, or on the brink of termination. There are quite a number of references to time in the different song lyrics; probably all the time taken in “getting over” that person who inspired the relationship theme of the album. The beauty of the compositions is in the emphasis of the instrumental components serving as the backdrop for the vocals to tell a story.
A few of the tracks off the album which are worth a listen include Zoom (obviously), Honolulu (packed with potential to become an unwanted earworm), Time and Place (it has an underlying South African rhythm), I Can’t Help You (which one cannot help but love), Used to be Mine (let us just say, if you were planning on breaking up with someone, this would be the perfect song to email that person), and Repair (ends off the album on a triumphant note- you triumphing over your break-up).
Other songs, not on the album also worth a listen include Thousands of Years (strictly for the guitar, bass and drum action, especially when you want to blow off some steam with serious head-bobbing) and Alps (it has nothing to do with the Alps).
Three quarters of the band are of Japanese descent, which is good because everyone loves the Japanese; they gave us Ramen noodles, anime and martial arts, and the music is by far Japan-awesome. Besides being down to earth, the like-ability of the Last Dinosaurs is rooted in the realness that comes across in the music. They seem like four of your friends, who have a garage band and occasionally perform gigs at the local coffee shop and your birthday party (if you asked them really nicely).
The Last Dinosaurs are in no way heading towards premature extinction, with a European, Asian and South African tour behind them and after recovering from the departure of a band member, the Last Dinosaurs are currently working on their second album. The title has not been announced yet, but follow the social networks for important announcements on Twitter and Facebook.