Romulus, the latest offering from Norwich-based Darwin and the Dinosaur opens with all the majesty of its legendary namesake. ‘Mow Mow’ is a charming, enrapturing kind of track. Right from the off, you’re faced with beautiful guitars and an impeccable sense of melody. And it’s the perfect track to showcase what’s still to come. There’s intensity, technical skill, emotion and a certain cheekiness. It’s Minus The Bear meets Taking Back Sunday but with an unmistakeable Britishness. That’s the whole EP in a nutshell, but Romulus does have a lot more to offer as well.
Liebe is catchy, dancey, and would fit perfectly on Kerrang! TV’s current rotation. It’s bundles of fun, but not a carbon copy of current British alt-rock. Lyrically, the EP is a cracker – extremely self aware, a little bit self deprecating and above all, intelligent without being too pretentious. This is best showcased in ‘Lady Die’, a 30-second “fuck you” wrapped in gorgeous melodies and following track ‘Fuck You And The Horse You Road In On’, an amusing insight into the lives of underground music acts. DatD is packed to the brim with excellent musicians, and there are inspiring instrumental sections on every song, but ‘October’ really takes the cake, giving each member a place in the spotlight. The EP has a great pace to it – there’s radio friendly slow burners, like ‘Stupid Is As Stupid Does’, an Armor For Sleep esque ballad with some killer backing vocals, as well as upbeat made-for-a-live-audience anthems.
The production values are also incredible. Everything is clean, crisp and clear. No instrument battles it out with another, there’s no tinny cymbals, it just sounds great. If there’s one criticism of this EP, it’s that occasionally the main vocals slip into a slightly American based whine, and as this seems to be consciously combatted at times with a more British pronunciation, it sometimes pushes them out of tune. But otherwise, Romulus is an absolute joy to listen to, and Darwin and the Dinosaur are set to conquer.
4 out of 5 high fives!