I had no idea who Dorsal Fins were, but the first time I listened to them I was hooked like a Magikarp on a super rod. This special time, when I first heard this band, was when I was just cruising around in my car. Mind Renovation, the title track of their new release, doof-doofed out of my speakers and started making me bop my head so much it was as if I’d installed hydraulics. Enlightened, I made a bee line to the record store and bought the fellas album; and hallelujah, I was not left disappointed.
Melbourne supergroup Dorsal Fins deliver an impressive and refreshingly varied sound on debut album Mind Renovation.
So as I said, this band caught me completely unawares. They signed with the ever-growing family of Remote Control Records and dropped the album a couple of weeks ago, to a mostly positive reception. Dorsal Fins is the brain-child of Liam McGorry from Saskwatch and Eagle And The Worm. ‘Side project’ does not justify the quality of this release as it proves to be a strongly diversified outlet from his usual work with these groups. A 10-piece group fronted by Ella Thompson and Eagle And The Worm’s Jarrad Brown, this band of musicians produce an album that just keeps on giving in all styles and genres. From disco dance songs to psychedelic rock songs, this is a true adventure. If only if it was never-ending.
Aside from the aforementioned collaboration of musicians from different bands, Nothing Left To Hide opens the album with its obscure, angst, punk-influenced sound followed by indie pop anthem Monday Tuesday. In a lightning flash, Heart On The Floor sweeps through with feel good disco vibes and uplifting trumpets. Then my sweetheart, Mind Renovation, hits with its Tame Impala-esque intro before diverting into its own alternative space. Cut The Wire is an anxious track on edge, before slowing to the chill and soulful Escape Me.
Sun and Stars sounds as if Brisbane indie band Last Dinosaurs and the Romeo and Juliet Official Soundtrack were combined. Fell has an innocent yet creepy melody that follows it throughout, whilst Jacqueline gives a nice youthful rant and Superstar ends the album on the opposite page of the first track; its a soothing, relaxed finisher.
As you can gather from that brief summary, the album is brimming with variety. Its fast songs compliment its slow songs, its slow songs compliment its experimental songs, its experimental songs compliment its catchy songs, and its catchy songs complete its fast songs. That means it’s pretty much equivalent to having a Charmeleon, Bulbasaur and Squirtle in your Pokemon deck.
Overall, Mind Renovation is a well-balanced piece of listening art that encourages curiosity through its multiple and experimental variations, but which always brings the listener back to earth with catchy melodies and simple yet beautiful verses.
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