Dinowalrus on the Loose

By David Wharton

Nov 24, 2009 1:14pm

Attention, all instrumental/experimental rock/synth punk lovers: there is a new beast on the scene. But unlike what their name may convey, Dinowalrus isn’t some freak veterinary experiment, but a group of artists that like to cross-breed sounds rather than animals. Musicians Pete Feigenbaum, Kyle Warren, and Josh Da Costa have been working hard for the past six months to promote their debut album, "%," due out in January 2010 on kanine records. I got a chance to chat with Feigenbaum, and our conversation matched his bright green and gold t-shirt: lively, with lots of tangents. At one point we professed a mutual love for Warren G – because after all, who doesn’t love Warren G? But he doesn’t go astray when it comes to the band's aural aesthetic, which they’ve been developing since they started up in 2007. Feigenbaum describes Dinowalrus's sound as "drums and drone" (drone meaning a sustained drone that doesn't change in its pitch). "(%) is influenced by any band in rock history that had an eccentric or futuristic mindset," he commented at one point; he lists Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and Devo as influences. I could tell where he was coming from in one of their tracks on the album, “Electric Car, Gas Guitar.” I was immediately hit by the swelling strummings on the electric guitar, accompanied by a raucous, catchy beat on the drums. But I sensed an entirely different energy on “Haze on the Mobius Strip;” the song is ethereal in nature, with sweet melodies and echo-y vocals. “I Hate Numbers” is another song bearing no resemblance to its siblings, with its multiple sections of different rhythms and guitar riffs. If music is a classroom, then Dinowalrus is the earnest, hardworking student in the corner: they treat notes like long lines that they can twist and mix together in different compositions and presentations, and it's easy to get carried away by the many different instruments you hear: synthesizer, guitar, bass, drums, drum machine. "Our goal is just not to be boring or derivative," Feigenbaum said. From what I’ve heard on “%,” I’d say that mission that has definitely been accomplished. Now I'm just waiting for them to produce a synth cover of "Regulate" and I'm all set. (Susan Shin / ABC News)

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