It’s been three years since Brisbane-based Last Dinosaurs released their stellar debut LP In a Million Years, an album which I believe was able to perfectly marry dream pop and indie rock in order to capture a wider set of music audience. This was followed up just recently with the release of their more mature-sounding album, Wellness.
What’s good about this album is that the band was able to stick to the sound they are known for – upbeat, disco-sounding riffs that will make any listener both sing and dance to their songs. The album was well-made and thought of, won’t deny them that. There are a lot of promising tracks like ‘Evie’, ‘Apollo’, and ‘Purist’ as they sounded like the tracks in In a Million Years. The instrumentals are impeccably made with its dancey guitar lines and catchy synths, partnered with Sean Caskey’s dreamy vocals. However, the whole vibe of this record seemed forced and flat. Unlike the first album, transitions to the next songs were not as smooth, and the tracks sounded disconnected to each other. Most of the songs were also forgettable as they all sounded the same. One would only be able to appreciate the album better if they listened to it more than once, with each time more intently and focused than the last one.
Wellness was a sophomore semi-slump. There was so much potential in this album because of the great attention to detail they put in each song. Unfortunately, they dwelled too much on the technicalities with the intention to sound more mature that they complete forgot the fun Last Dinosaurs essence that their audience fell in love with. It was easy to cherry-pick favorites and skip unmemorable ones, leaving them at the losing side of the spectrum. What’s good though is that they focused more on their song writing this time, making the album emotionally honest and closer to the listener. I’m looking forward to how these songs will be played live, and hopefully, they will be able to make it more exciting than the album-listening experience. It was hard to follow up In A Million Years. Hopefully, Last Dinosaurs will be able to learn so many lessons from this release; at least they would know exactly how to turn around future records, and that is by focusing more on their signature sound which will always be the first point of contact of the listeners to their material.