ARTIST: DUNE RATS
TITLE: HURRY UP AND WAIT
LABEL: BMG/RISE RECORDS
WORDS: CHRIS PRENATT
2017 was a magnificent year for the Australian surf rock trio Dune Rats. With the surprising success of their sophomore record The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit, which debuted at #1 on the ARIA charts and had the group touring across the globe with several sold out shows, you would think that their newest album would continue to have the same partying vibe as its predecessor. But you would be wrong.
On Hurry Up And Wait, the band step back from the party atmosphere they created on their last endeavor and just go with the flow. Focusing on their life on the road during their tour cycle for The Kids Know It’s Bullshit, the trio decided to turn their experiences into mellow songs that feel like nothing the band has ever done before. Think of a crossover between SWMRS and FIDLAR, if you can hear that.
“Dune Rats have mixed some pop-rock stylings into their signature garage punk/surf rock vibe”
But don’t let that worry you, it’s still the same Dune Rats you’ve grown to love throughout the years. Sure the fact that they signed with major label BMG for an international release (and with American label Rise Records for a stateside release) would be a cause for alarm, but it isn’t an issue. If you have listened to SWMRS’s latest record Berkeley’s On Fire, then you have a clear grasp on what Hurry Up And Wait sounds like, well, kind of. Dune Rats have mixed some pop-rock stylings into their signature garage punk/surf rock vibe. And it doesn’t throw them off kilter. It’s not selling out, it’s improving on something that isn’t broken and somehow making it sound great.
The record still contains the elements that you would expect from the boys; distorted guitars, chugging melodies, and a shitload of fun to make you feel like you’re at the greatest party in the universe. Clocking in at 28 minutes, it’s the shortest album from the band to date. Their lyrics have a more matured sound than their past albums, but it’s subtle enough to not throw you into a complete 180. You have tracks about doing drugs (“Crazy,”) smoking weed (“If My Bong Could Talk,”) band life (“No Plans,”) and worrying about falling back on bad habits (“Stupid Is As Stupid Does.”)
“a surprising and welcoming change of pace”
However the real changes in style can be found on tracks like The Skids,” a pop-rock track that comes out of left field and blindsides you with its Sugar Ray-ish vocal melodies, and the Everclear sounding “Patience” which has a ‘90s vibe that hits hard like a sledgehammer to your ears.
Some of the best tracks off the record would have to be the high energy (official) opener “Bobby D,” which kicks everything into high gear while the band sing about being “crazy motherfuckers,” the relatable lyrics “Rock Bottom” is filled with, the hard-hitting “Crazy” that gives the album a familiar Dune Rats vibe, and “Stupid Is As Stupid Does” featuring American rapper turned pop-rocker K.Flay, who kicks tons of ass on this track. K.Flay fits quite well with the energy and sound Dune Rats radiates.
Unpolished and different, Hurry Up And Wait is a surprising and welcoming change of pace from the Aussie trio. Producer James Tidswell from Violent Soho perfectly captures this new style from Dune Rats well, creating an album that feels familiar but also unique. They did say they didn’t want to keep repeating themselves, and they succeeded with this record, minus the minor hiccups.