Right from the start of the album, with opening track Hey Everyone, itbecomes clear that this is a band that are going to make merry in very muchtheir own manner. Even on this short one and a half minute introduction they mix up afriendly-sounding strummed refrain with some dramatic crashing chords anddrumrolls, building to a crescendo of feedback-enhanced scree, beforesegueing into track two with a shouted chant of “Dan-an-an-an-ayk-ROYD…Hiya!… Watch this! Watch this!” It’s an arresting start, and one thatindicates that you are never quite going to know what is coming nextin the 50 or so minutes that are to follow.
And this is pretty much borne out over the course of the album. So youget tracks interspersed with handclaps (The Greater Than Symbol And TheHash), cutesie lyrics like “He’s wearing your lipstick / And drinking fromyour glass” (Black Wax), and mass singalong bits (the start of Pink Sabbath,the “Oh… my… god” from Infinity Milk, Some Dresses) that make you think of atougher, less southern-softie version of Los Campesinos!.
But thenthere are other times where the band approach screamo territory, withthroat-shredding vocal delivery as deployed in One Chance and parts of 1993.The percussion is as frenetic you would expect from a band featuringtwo drummers, and tracks like Some Dresses sound like they have beenconstructed from the offcuts of at least two different tracks, using nothingmore than boisterousness as the glue.
What is particularly engaging about all this is the way that, despite theintensity of the noise, the feel of the music is almost exclusively happyand positive. This isn’t angry, aggressive noise – more the natural shoutyexcitement that befits youth and enthusiasm.
Upbeat statements (“Yeah! Canyou smell it in the air?”, “I can learn to love my body” from Some Dresses,for example), joyful exclamations (the “wooh!”s on Hey James) andparticularly the acknowledgement that “These are the days of our fuckinglives”, also in Hey James, all contribute to this positivity. A key line,from 1993, is when they sing of turning “hissy fits into sissy hits”.Although these hits are far from “sissy”, the point here is thatthey are taking negatives and subverting them whilst channelling them intotheir music.
Dananananaykroyd are, on this album’s evidence, a fine band.Although a fair few of the tracks have previously featured as singles and onEPs, Hey Everyone will certainly serve as a wonderful introduction to thoseyet to uncover their joys. Unpredictable, life-enhancing, feisty and noisy,these hugely likeable one-offs will hopefully long continue to walk theirown path with originality and joie de vivre.