Right from the start of the album, with opening track Hey Everyone, it becomes clear that this is a band that are going to make merry in very much their own manner. Even on this short one and a half minute introduction they mix up a friendly-sounding strummed refrain with some dramatic crashing chords and drumrolls, building to a crescendo of feedback-enhanced scree, before segueing 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 that indicates that you are never quite going to know what is coming next in the 50 or so minutes that are to follow.
And this is pretty much borne out over the course of the album. So you get tracks interspersed with handclaps (The Greater Than Symbol And The Hash), cutesie lyrics like “He’s wearing your lipstick / And drinking from your 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 a tougher, less southern-softie version of Los Campesinos!.
But then there are other times where the band approach screamo territory, with throat-shredding vocal delivery as deployed in One Chance and parts of 1993. The percussion is as frenetic you would expect from a band featuring two drummers, and tracks like Some Dresses sound like they have been constructed from the offcuts of at least two different tracks, using nothing more than boisterousness as the glue.
What is particularly engaging about all this is the way that, despite the intensity of the noise, the feel of the music is almost exclusively happyand positive. This isn’t angry, aggressive noise – more the natural shouty excitement that befits youth and enthusiasm.
Upbeat statements (“Yeah! Can you 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) and particularly the acknowledgement that “These are the days of our fucking lives”, 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 that they 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 their own path with originality and joie de vivre.