I had assumed that a screening of Jurassic World would be the most mediocre piece of prehistorically themed entertainment I would endure this month, but a night in the company of Brisbane four piece Last Dinosaurs proved me wrong. Like Chris Pratt bumbling shirtlessly through the jungle, so I found myself lost in a sea of precariously hanging CDs at Amplifier Bar last Saturday. Lurching in confusion from one pale ale to the next, I was forced to come to terms with the fact that guitar driven radio-friendly indie rock endures against all odds in this country, even when you wish it wouldn’t.
Last Dinosaurs are, whatever that first paragraph might have encouraged you to believe, a fun band. Their live set was punctuated by cheerful banter, and the lead singer was, as the girl standing in front of me in the crowd noted, “hot. Eurasians are my type.” The group rose to fame via Triple J et al in 2012, with the release of their debut album In a Million Years. There was the usual festival circuit fuelled burst of success, and then a long dry spell. Their second album, led by single “Evie”, is due out later this year.
After a slow start with opener “Weekend”, the band soon hit their stride with popular tracks like “Honolulu”, “Andy” and “Zoom”. The latter two songs were noticeably slower in tempo than their recorded versions, their sharpness a little lost in the scuzz. Things picked up when the receptive crowd were treated to covers of ABC’s “Poison Arrow” and Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better”.
Three years between releases is a big gap in time for a young band, but the gig was sold out and the crowd felt animated. This could be attributed to a couple of factors, the first being that the music of Last Dinosaurs has a timeless kind of blandness to it, the sort of cheap and cheerful danceable sound that never really goes out of style.
The second factor might be that people love going to Amplifier on a Saturday night, whether they’re interested in the band playing or not. They love the Andy Warhol style posters of dead rock stars, they love the four emo-looking DJs on stage practically sucking each other off in self-congratulation following their mutual decision to play “Rock Lobster” for the third time, and they love the iconic piece of graffiti in one of the women’s toilet stalls that simply reads I’m 50 and hip. And they love a show, so when the Dinosaurs’ lead singer Sean Casey introduced a track with the prelude of “Let’s hear some fuckin’ rock n’ roll” (later to indulge in a brief crowd surf) he was met with extreme enthusiasm.
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