Norwich post hardcore band Darwin and the Dinosaur have dropped their debut album A Thousand Ships. Fans of This City and Young Guns will be in familiar territory as Darwin and the Dinosaur deal in big riffs, memorable choruses and worship at the heels of the quiet/loud dynamic.
The band have some wonderful song-writing chops. Tracks like Theories, Making Friends With Strangers and Riff Town Population: You are loaded with chunky, bouncy riffs and bolstered by some lovely, glittery leads. The band always chooses a great moment to punctuate their songs with a huge power-chord and for the most part their music is thoroughly entertaining.
The album isn’t without fault though. The band relies too heavily on twinkly, acoustic interludes to flesh it out. This results in a record that only has 6 fully-formed songs on it. If the band cut out the chaff and released this as an EP it would be much better off. A Thousand Ships has all the right elements to be a no-nonsense slab of post hardcore but sadly there’s a little too much nonsense.
The other issue is with the band’s vocals. While the vocal performance is entirely serviceable, they often sit in a comfortable mid-range that means a lot of the songs on A Thousand Ships feel overly similar. Things really plateau with Make Believe which isn’t nearly as exciting as the rest of the songs on the album and the vocals do it no favours. A little more variety in the vocals could have really set some of these songs off especially when you consider how thunderously heavy the opening riff of Making Friends With Strangers. It would have been nice to have heard the occasional scream to accompany the record’s heavier moments.
Regardless, Darwin and the Dinosaur are very close to having a seriously accomplished sound. For the most part, A Thousand Ships is a seriously exciting post hardcore record that’s stuffed with great riffs and choruses. If the band can make a record with a little less padding and some more variety in the vocal department then they’d be onto a winner. It’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.
Darwin and the Dinosaur’s A Thousand Ships is out now and available to buy on CD and vinyl direct from the band.