Last Dinosaurs - Yumeno Garden
By: Katherine Stallard
Returning from a three year album hiatus, smashing their way back onto the indie music scene with blazingly well-influenced tracks, melancholy rhythms and still effortlessly groovy guitar riffs, Last Dinosaurs newest album ‘Yumeno Garden’ is anything but short of a masterful combination of the old Last Dinosaurs sound with a bright new kick of 80’s inspired heart.
Since their last release, ‘Wellness’ in 2015, the Brit-Australian trio Last Dinosaurs have been working feverishly on their album. Carefully tailoring their music into undefinable artistry, the band’s third album ‘‘Yumeno Garden’’, accomplishes something their previous albums couldn’t by taking what has come to be their recognizable poppy synth-centric sound and blend it seamlessly into a newer, softer, and deeper feeling set of lyrics and rhythms.
Featuring ten lyrically and melodically packed tunes, tracks like ‘Dominos’, the album’s first released single, command attention with their pounding drums and swirling guitar, but even more so, beg to be blasted. As tropical birds welcome the track to the listener's ear, and the drums blend effortlessly into lead singer Sean Caskey, melty but forceful lyrics, the somber tone of the track somehow ends up creating an almost bittersweet and hopeful state of mind. With an easy rhythm and prominent guitar, when the chorus yearns “I know it’s only a phase”, the vocals swirl in your head, especially in headphones, giving the song a dreamy, out of this world sound.
‘Bass God’ continues along those lines as a shiny tropical funk that the album has begun to adopt, swirls in. The guitar welcomes you into the track but the twinkling synth in the back quickly enhances it’s complexity, leading you to the lyrics. With sweetly coated vocals and a breakdown on the third chorus repetition to a simplistic guitar melody and slowly building backtrack, the song’s upbeat, whirling guitar floats the listener all the way to the track’s finishing notes.
Taking its spot as the fourth track on the album but as number one in my heart as 2018’s best songs, ‘Sense’, while feeling contradictorily melancholy despite the undeniable groove of the pop synths, induces a feeling of pure music euphoria. The bittersweet lyrics of a love ending, flourish with the tactful falsetto of Sean Caskey and a brilliant guitar progression and a sad song somehow becomes an electric anthem for any occasion, happy or sad.
‘Happy’ washes over the listener in a beautiful 80s inspired splendor, utilizing distinctly 80s shimmer pop chords to produce the track’s emotion of pain and heartbreak. Unlike some of the other tracks, the song features little to no drums focusing on the small intricacies of echo and reverb to give the song a more cohesive and reflected dreamy effect. As the song dips out with a soft fade, the listener is left a little more wistful, but despite the songs downbeat tone, the lulling and ethereal sounds of the song create a safety amidst one’s heartaches.
Building with the help of the signature Last Dinosaurs guitar, ‘Forget About’ introduces the Last Dinosaurs audience to their first taste of Lachlan Caskey on vocals, who usually expertly handles lead guitar. Breathy, dreamy and stand-out from the rest of the album, ‘Forget About’’s gentle and rhythmic synths, low plucking bass and swirling melodies, take the brain on a beautifully contemplating mental journey. The last bridge epitomizes the track, glowing in honeyed falsetto, as the lyrics utter the truth the song has spent realizing, saying that sometimes there’s a comfort in the end-of-relationship sadness ‘Just to know it wasn't meant to be’.
The whole second half of the album is taken over by Lachlan Caskey on vocals, a Last Dinosaurs first, and each track rendered by his delicate but expressive notes, adds a even more wistful tone to the album’s musical theme. ‘Non Lo So’, the album’s first track, meaning “I don’t know” in Italian, acts as a glorious nightcap to the band’s junior release. With a slow distorted beat signaling the beginning of the song and the light guitar pairing alongside the vague but telling lyrics, despite the dispirited tone of the lyrics, the song itself is bright and alive with feeling.
Creating an album that leaves a lasting impact on the listeners, ‘Yumeno Garden’ takes on an electrically transparent and vulnerable album that their sometimes homogenous poppy sound delivers. Pairing their dreamy and heavenly melodies and instruments with thoughtful lyrics and experimental writing styles, ‘Yumeno Garden’ isn’t the type of album that you will grow out of, but one rather, that will grow with you.