Yes In My Backyard: Download Dinowalrus’ “Electric Car, Gas Guitar”


Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

Brooklyn ecstasy-noize troupe Dinowalrus crawl out of the teeny-tiny opening Animal Collective and Black Dice have made for fluttery textures, ambient suckscapes, and incoherent blare-chants. But despite their adorable name, Dinowalrus are nothing at all like the recent spate of gear-and-go bands. They have the power, energy, thrust and machinations of a real, live rock band, landing somewhere between the gnash of classic punk and the boogie of ’80s no wave. Driven by the blur-and-pound powerhouse drumming of Josh Da Costa, “Electric Car, Gas Guitar” starts with the downtown bluster of vintage Branca or Sonic Youth, then throws off its arty chains and dives into the chainsaw-massacre chords of the Ramones’ “Loudmouth.” Which is somehow fighting against Kraftwerk’s “It’s More Fun To Compute,” No Age’s “Eraser,” and a Stooges-style saxo skronk-off. Kanine releases the band’s debut album,%, in January. Vocalist/guitarist Pete Feigenbaum is currently on the road as the tour guitar for Titus Andronicus. He answered these questions after solving a calamitous van problem.

Dinowalrus’ Pete Feigenbaum on “Electric Car, Gas Guitar”

So we hear you’re having van troubles. What happened?

The Titus Andronicus van experienced catastrophic engine failure 20 miles outside of Austin–a piston rod flew out and ruptured the engine! Our friends in Ringo Deathstarr gave us a ride to the show in Austin, so we weren’t stranded, fortunately. As we speak, the van is being compacted into a 3-by-3-foot cube. We determined that the cheapest way to continue the tour was to rent a Budget box van. Since I’m the only band member who’s 25, I have to do all the driving, which means this tour is no longer a leisurely vacation from my NYC unemployment woes and I no longer have the time to start mapping out the songs for second Dinowalrus album. Even worse is that Ian and Patrick have to ride in the locked, windowless, poorly ventilated cargo hold. For them, it’s probably a cross between the John Candy polka-band scene in Home Alone and Henry Rollins’ Get in the Van memoir.

What is “Electric Car, Gas Guitar” about?

Lyrically, the content is mostly free-associative wordplay with a futuristic, dystopian motif. The title of the song explores the possibility that the greening of the automotive industry could go too far, leading to the collapse of the petroleum industry. The solution? Start powering guitars with gasoline! Turn those axes into chainsaws! I guess it could be construed as an attack on the crunchy, granola lifestyle. Basically, if the greeners force us drive electric cars, than we’ll convert our guitars to gasoline power in defiance. Maybe this song is an update on the age-old punk vs. hippie beef? Yet the song has some hippie wah-wah solo action, thereby giving it some sweet “complexity and contradiction.”

How did this song come about? What was the inspiration?

I think it’s an attempt to achieve uber-rock–rock that’s so over the top that it transcends the genre of rock. Some of the noisy and excessive delay/echo action on the vocals was inspired by the likes of Comets on Fire, Acid Mothers Temple, early Boredoms, etc. The idea to include a sax solo was inspired by the Stooges “1970” and also “Hat Energy” by Awesome Color. The jittery start-stop drum patterns in the verses really came together during the two-month period when Etienne from Real Estate was in the band–he refused to play straightforward boom-boom-chik beats.

Have you ever driven or ridden in an electric car? Your impressions?

I’ve only been in a Prius hybrid. Though I did have an electric Power Wheels ride-on car when I was a kid, but it wasn’t street-legal or anything.

Was the “Loudmouth” rip intentional?

To be honest, I’ve only listened to “Loudmouth” three or four times in my life. That riff in our song is actually nicked from “Running Loaded” by Mudhoney. Hopefully we’ll keep blatant riffage thievery to a minimum in the future.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?

Maybe Peppa’s Jerk Chicken at Flatbush and Church or Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park.

Download: [audio-1]

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