Brisbane indie-rockers Last Dinosaurs have returned with Yumeno Garden; their third album, and their first in three years. Following up from 2015’s genre-hopping psychedelic effort Wellness, the band escaped to Japan to write and record what they claim is finally the music they want to be making.
Everything about Yumeno Garden has been done by Last Dinosaurs in an effort to remain true to themselves. The band produced the album by themselves, recorded it in their own studios, and even made the album’s artwork and music videos themselves. The end product, then, leaves no questions remaining as to who Last Dinosaurs are as a band.
The album, in many ways, feels like the culmination of everything they have worked towards thus far. The syrupy vocals and catchy hooks from the bands early work remain, while trippy guitar pedals and vocal effects are the legacy of Wellness. But there’s another element to this album, one that cements it as some of the band’s best work. The dreamlike, psychedelic aspects of the music finally feel at home amongst soaring synthesisers, where previously the band seemed to be dipping their toes into waters they knew little about.
The album’s title translates to ‘Dream Garden’ - it’s part Japanese, part English, but fully encompasses the listening experience. Each song transports you to a surreal, far-off land full of vibrant sounds and colours.
As songs like ‘Happy’ and ‘Forget About’ burst to life and swim through my headphones, I am reminded just how good it is to have more Last Dinosaurs to listen to. I often feel that I underestimate how much I like Last Dinosaurs. Whenever I listen to their first two albums I find myself loving them, but then forget to revisit them for months at a time. Perhaps this is because, as promising as these albums were, they were never perfect. Already, though, Yumeno Garden is a different beast.
The album’s singles, ‘Eleven’ and ‘Dominos’, represent everything there is to like about the band up to this point. They draw you in, and get stuck in your head. From there, though, the rest of the album is mysterious and infectious. Each song flows effortlessly into the next, revealing captivating new depths with each listen. It’s the kind of album that will continue to mean different things the more you listen to it. For now, though, it means Last Dinosaurs are back and better than ever.