Shaky Dream by Dinosaur Bones on Apple Music

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Dinosaur Bones’ sophomore album, Shaky Dream, the Canadian combo achieves an impressive balance of technical mastery and underlying emotional tension, resulting in songs that hint at obsessive fires under steely surfaces. Shaky Dream’s music unreels with steady precision, letting darkly atmospheric flights emerge over quietly relentless rhythms. Ben Fox’s angst-colored vocals bring out the unflinching content of his lyrics; at times he resembles Ian Curtis in his ability to plumb the depths of alienation and need. Tunes like “Spins in Circles,” “Go Free,” and “Pacifist in Camouflage” are both inviting and disquieting, laced with hypnotic textures that blend minimalist motifs with psychedelic embroidery. There are flashes of prog-rock grandeur in “Nothing Left Between the Lines” and “End of Life Crisis,” contrasting with the humbler but no less compelling charms of folk-pop numbers like “Go Free” and “Don’t Decide.” Special praise is due bassist Branko Scekic and drummer Lucas Fredette, who ground the tracks in clean, inescapable grooves.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Dinosaur Bones’ sophomore album, Shaky Dream, the Canadian combo achieves an impressive balance of technical mastery and underlying emotional tension, resulting in songs that hint at obsessive fires under steely surfaces. Shaky Dream’s music unreels with steady precision, letting darkly atmospheric flights emerge over quietly relentless rhythms. Ben Fox’s angst-colored vocals bring out the unflinching content of his lyrics; at times he resembles Ian Curtis in his ability to plumb the depths of alienation and need. Tunes like “Spins in Circles,” “Go Free,” and “Pacifist in Camouflage” are both inviting and disquieting, laced with hypnotic textures that blend minimalist motifs with psychedelic embroidery. There are flashes of prog-rock grandeur in “Nothing Left Between the Lines” and “End of Life Crisis,” contrasting with the humbler but no less compelling charms of folk-pop numbers like “Go Free” and “Don’t Decide.” Special praise is due bassist Branko Scekic and drummer Lucas Fredette, who ground the tracks in clean, inescapable grooves.

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About Dinosaur Bones

In 2008, songwriter Ben Fox packed up his instruments and left Montreal, where he’d spent several years studying political science and English Lit at Concordia University. After resettling in Toronto, he started piecing together a lineup of like-minded musicians to play the material he’d composed between classes. Joel Clifton, Branko Scekic, Dave Wickland, and Lucas Fredette all climbed aboard, and Dinosaur Bones released a self-titled EP later that year while playing a string of hometown gigs with Sloan, Sebastien Grainger, and other Canadian acts. The group eventually expanded its touring schedule to include America, all the while writing material for a full-length album. Their debut, My Divider, arrived in 2011 on Dine Alone Records, followed in 2013 by their sophomore release, Shaky Dream. ~ Andrew Leahey

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