Dananananaykroyd – There Is A Way Dananananaykroyd – There Is A Way

Dananananaykroyd are from Glasgow, and their name is ridiculous. Infuriatingly ridiculous. Usually, a band with a name this stupid (it’s like the Batman theme had sex with Dan Aykroyd, get it?) wouldn’t make it through the front door, you know? “What are you guys called? Danana… never mind. Heel and toe, fellas. Take it somewhere else.”

So it’s a testament to their skills that these guys actually even exist and put out records that people want to hear and trade money for. Because Dananananaykroyd definitely have skills. They apparently call their sound “fight pop,” which I don’t know what that means. It’s aggressive, I guess? Or confrontational or something? Beats me. Here’s what it sounds like to me, though:

It sounds like really, really sharp guitar pop. Sharp as in pointy. As in jagged. As in bloody. As in trebly livewire Telecasters and Jazzmasters blaring chicken-scratch major-chord progressions through blown speakers. Pummeling, roundhouse rhythms fit for a gang fight or a disco bloodbath. Frantic, jeering, this-place-is-gonna-burn-to-the-goddamn-ground-and-we-couldn’t-be-happier vocals. Dananananaykroyd are of the Orange Juice / Josef K / Franz Ferdinand strain of acidic Scottish indie pop, as opposed to the Big Country / Simple Minds brand of wide-shouldered cinematic romanticism. Dananananaykroyd are cinematic like a low-budget slasher film, all adrenalized intensity and serrated hooks.

And it works like a thing that works really well on their second LP, There Is a Way, eleven tracks worth of over-caffeinated audio mayhem, released on the six-piece’s very own label, Pizza College (awesome). While the non-stop intensity of the tunes starts to wear a bit on the LP’s back half, by then it’s pretty hard to stop listening. The feverish spazziness of these songs – and especially “All Us Authors,” “Think & Feel,” the Superchunky “Muscle Memory,” “Good Time” – sears your ears, the way the best jams from Le Savy Fav, McLusky or The Monorchid do (or did. RIP McLusky and The Monorchid). There’s more than a hint of Los Campesinos! in the sound, as well; like Los Campesinos!, Dananananaykroyd sound really, really excited to be here, their joy and enthusiasm soaking through alongside with the vitriol. They’re cheerleaders cheering on a riot (too soon? Too soon).

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Dananananaykroyd know their way around a melody. Listening to “Muscle Memory” is like spending six weeks at Riff Camp, and “Apostrophe” gets in your head and doesn’t let go. The same could be said for most of There Is a Way. Clearly, the band has inherited the Hibernian penchant for songcraft, channeling innate tunefulness through a compressed, highly paranoid post-millennial tension. This is cramped, nervous, claustrophobic music, and the melodies provide what air is there.

If Dananananaykroyd is fight pop, then I guess I like fight pop. These guys are exhausting, sure, but the endorphin hangover is worth the ride. You’ll be sore but happy, bruised but better for it.


1. Reboot
2. All Us Authors
3. E Numbers
4. Think And Feel
5. Muscle Memory
6. Time Capsule
7. Good Time
8. Apostrophe
9. Seven Days Late
10. Glee Cells Trade
11. Make A Fist

Dananananaykroyd - There Is A Way, reviewed by Brandon Gentry on 2011-09-12T10:30:48-07:00 rating 3.7 out of 5

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