Record review: Dorsal Fins – Mind Renovation (2015, LP)

dorsal fins

Hey, did anyone see the Grammys this week? No, me neither. I was too busy listening to the debut album by Melbourne ten-piece Dorsal Fins, and FOMO can GTFO because this stuff is smokin’. Patched together by Liam McGorry (Eagle & the Worm, Saskwatch) and members of the Bamboos and New Gods, Dorsal Fins are a band on a genre-bending trip of sometimes dreamy, always layered alt-pop that twists, turns and captivates at every moment. Just about everything is a high point; Ella Thompson’s perfect pop vocals on the express train of a synth-pop track ‘Monday Tuesday’ are especially fine, while McGorry doesn’t hold back on his social commentary cuss-fest ‘Jacqueline’. The fact that the first few bars of ‘Heart on the Floor’ sound like the drum intro to Spinal Tap’s ‘Big Bottom’ before the song turns into an ‘80s Madonna-esque pop ballad reflects the wonderfully random tangents the album takes throughout. Elsewhere, the title track cranks the psych-rock guitars while ‘Cut the Wire’ is all dark electronica, and there are beautiful and melancholy ballads in ‘Escape Me’ and ‘Superstar’. Being a ten-piece means that Dorsal Fins have a multitude of tricks up their sleeves, so hopefully this won’t be simply a side project to the band members’ other more well-known ventures. With this album, Dorsal Fins have marked themselves as serious contenders; not even a Grammy win could make me dislike them. (Gripless/Remote Control)

For mX

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