Dinosaur Bones: MY DIVIDER

Wed Apr 06 2011
Another in a long line of overproduced mathy rock, Dinosaur Bones’ success lies in how heavy they can make their songs seem by layering and cranking the volume.  When it works, as in “Life In Trees” and “Royalty”, the band combines a heady concoction of sounds and brings it to a rolling boil by song’s end.  But too often, as in “Point Of Pride” and “Highwire Act”, they only manage a mildly dynamic plod that’s not rhythmically as interesting as they think nor musically as powerful as they’re aiming for.

At the heart of their troubles is frontman Ben Fox.  Competence is really his best attribute, enough to get the band a record deal obviously but his voice doesn’t have much character or oomph.  Perhaps some well-placed harmonies could have made more out of these lackluster melodies, but these guys don’t have a power-pop bone in their bodies.  Overall, this aggro/emo dichotomy isn’t enough of either to impress anybody.  It’s just a bunch of slick, loud rock songs that feel more calculated than created, with no fire burning inside.

Still, I don’t see any reason why tracks like “Hunters” and “Ice Hotels” shouldn’t be radio hits.  Dinosaur Bones do evoke emotion by virtue of their persistent minor chords, and the tunes are professionally designed and executed.  Lots of one- or two-hit-wonders over the past decade wish they could write tracks as good as the ones that make up My Divider, but in case you couldn’t tell already, I don’t think that’s saying much.

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