Dinky, Open Letters - album review
Walsall band Dinky are releasing their sophomore record today, and it's full of melancholic pop rock numbers perfect for the current washout we are having to live through.
Open Letters once again has Andy Taylor (Editors/The Twang) of Park Studios in Birmingham on production duties and the record sounds as polished and clean as you'd expect.
It's full of reflection tracks like the understated-yet-powerful Oxygen. It crashes in with a guitar thrash of an intro pushed forward by Aaron Wilkes' drumming that keeps reappearing between the downtrodden verses that give Gavin Medza's voice room to thrive.
Gavin sounds a bit like another local rock vocalist - WOUNDEDSPiRiT's Jason Kelly - and it is the same 90s British guitar-driven rock that inspires the West Bromwich rockers which provides lots of inspiration here too.
Somewhere I Want To Be has one of those high-pitched Dodgy-style choruses with clanging guitars that regularly troubled the charts during that period. A slow burner of a track it suddenly grabs attention with the pre-chorus breakdown before the guitars grab hold for their big moment.
There's some old-skool, Ash-style rebellion in Jennifer Against The World. Air guitar melodies galore jostle for our attention from start to finish. This will be one hell of a track live. The meticulously crafted atmospherics evoke a great driving song. If your name happens to be Jennifer, this song on full volume, windows down, driving away from a row will be nothing short of perfect.
READ MORE: Walsall's Dinky back with new album
Opening track The Romance In Murder touches upon Oasis with those growling guitar interludes. It's the kind of rising riff that put chunks of swagger in that whole Britpop/rock movement. Mod hairstyles and sunnies indoors are needed to really enjoy the undercurrent of social angst spinning beneath the bright exterior.
The album finishes at a bit of a slower kilter and fades out as a consequence. The heartfelt melodies of Overrated don't quite hit the mark following on from what's come before. And the acoustic sorrow of J.O.Y seems to stop the record right in its tracks at the last hurdle.
But before then, this album is a good slice of guitar-led joy which shows Britrock shouldn't be consigned to the archives just yet. It still works in the modern world.
Dinky will launch the record with a free show in-store at Birmingham's The Diskery next Saturday at 2pm.