That loving feeling
Having built a rep for their awesome live shows, Glasgow’s Dananananaykroyd have unleashed a tremendous debut album. Malcolm Jack gets affectionate
You’ll probably have been aware of the name Dananananykroyd being shouted from the rooftops of the Scottish music scene for a few years – it’s so joyfully unwieldy you could hardly have missed it. Yet, only now are the self-styled ‘fight-pop’ Glasgow sextet set to release their debut album, Hey Everyone!, which arrives on fresh London based label Best Before Records. So what’s taken them so long? Personnel changes for one thing drummer Paul Carlin – one of two sticksmen in the band – only took his stool eight months ago, just after the band signed their record deal.
‘When the band started [in 2006] it was just a bit of fun,’ Carlin explains, ‘Six pals getting together to play some gigs as a hobby. But things changed, got a bit more professional and then Best Before came in.
‘It’s working out great,’ he adds, ‘What we’ve achieved since we got signed I think is terrific. We’re all very proud of it.’
Amongst other things, Carlin refers to Dananananaykroyd touring the UK with Foals and Europe with Kaiser Chiefs, recording their debut long player in New York and making a big splash at industry enormo-showcase South by Southwest. ‘How do I describe it?’ Carlin ponders, struggling to find adequate words to sum up the SXSW experience. ‘It was the trip of a lifetime, without sounding too clichéd. Austin itself is some place – it’s like an assault on all the senses.’
Dananananaykroyd have had a few limited edition releases, including a belting EP Sissy Hits, which came out last year. But none have captured the band’s sound – in all its splintered, early Idlewild-meets-Fugazi, deafeningly loud-yet-keenly tuneful glory – quite as successfully as Hey Everyone!
Carlin agrees. ‘It’s a rocktagious, train wreck of an album,’ he beams, emphatically. ‘The guitars will tear your face off, the drums are ferocious, the singing’s great. We’re very pleased with how it sounds.’
The ‘fight’ part of the ‘fight-pop’ genre Dananananaykroyd have created for themselves, tongues-in-cheeks, is slightly misleading – while Carlin describes the sextet as a ‘hardcore band at heart’ he says they eschew its aggressive ethic in favour of something more positive. ‘We can’t be bothered with any of that macho bullshit. We want everyone to love each other and have a good time.’
For proof, attend one of their live shows and witness their ‘wall of cuddles’ – a novel spin on the mosh-pit wall of death. ‘We split the crowd up the middle,’ Carlin explains, ‘but instead of kicking lumps out of each other, they then go to the next person and give them a hug. It’s a beautiful thing.’
Having sparked mass love-ins across Europe and North America over the last few months, the wall of cuddles will finally be retired after Dananananakroyd’s album launch show in Glasgow. ‘It’s time for it to go; it’s getting too big,’ Carlin laughs. But fear not: ‘We’ve got something new to unleash on our audience,’ he adds. ‘We don’t want to leave them wanting.’ Not anymore.
The Arches, Glasgow, Mon 6 Apr; Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Tue 7 Apr.