HomeReviewReview: “Dankosaurus” by Hunt The Dinosaur
3rd June 2019
Review: “Dankosaurus” by Hunt The Dinosaur
It’s been a glacial wait but the debut full length album from Dallas Texas Progressive Deathcore band Hunt The Dinosaur is finally here! When we say that it’s been an ice age, it’s been 5 long years since their self titled debut EP, though to be fair, having started out as pretty much a solo project for s***s and giggles in the studio with vocalist Hunter Madison and drummer Bryce Butler the only members, they have had a fair amount of work to piece together a fully fledged band. In the meantime there have been numerous YouTube covers in their own style, including “Only” by NickiMinaj, “Look At Me Now” by ChrisBrown and “Snapbacks and Tattoos” by Driicky Graham though they have also left that comedy “Deathcore goes Pop” element for a cover of “People=Sh*t” by Slipknot and “Headstrong” by Trapt. Someone get Fearless Records on the phone, we’ve got an idea we can sell them.
Starting with a brand new song in “The Real McCoy” Hunt The Dinosaur give us a DJent inspired Deathcore groove track that demonstrates some serious musicanship with some seamless tempo shifts between downtempo breakdown segments and blast beat bridges. There is a clear hip-hop influence in some of the drum patterning and some of the Tech-Metal tapping guitars are a joy. Hunter Madison’s lyrics have always been littered with drug references and “Devil’s Dandruff” is no different. An intelligent play on the rights and wrongs of cocaine abuse, cross referencing the fun with the paranoia, the rush with the inability to feel ones face, it’s both thought provoking and amusing. Again the guitars perhaps aren’t as out right slab heavy, instead opting for a more DJent Groove around Progressive Deathcore than anything else. Madison’s vocals have always been the star of the show with some insane unclean range and a new take on the “hoped up” style of Chris Fronzak of Attila but also having the punch of Tyler Guida of Dr Acula. “Spaced Out” is anything but, bouncing around with some impressive string scratch work giving the impression of a turn table buried in the background of the sound. Madison drops down from this uncleans to a spoken word style rap before stepping back up into an unclean rap scream. The full on lyrically content rages through the tune having beef while being unstable is the order of the day.
A brand new take on one of the highlights of their debut 2014 self titled EP “Destructo” brings it sonically into the album while being a little bit of a nostalgia trip. This new take features some (believe it or not) faster vocal delivery and improved flow while losing none of what made it good in the first place. Keeping the sample in raises a smile and the added final rap continues the brag. Stepping back to the newer stylings of the opening tracks “Get Up On My Level” is a sonic bounce fest with a screaming lead sound giving the impression of sirens approaching. A classic hip-hop brag fest about having mic skills dances its way around your skull but there is more to the story than that. The thunderous grooves underpinning everything fill the vocal gaps and give the vocals space to breathe. And they need it because there is a lot of content. You may also recognise elements of it as “BLK”, a tune that was given out gratis for the band for sign up to a mailing list in 2016. A song about women seems inevitable and “D.T.F.” is that song, though it’s so unhinged vocally that you may find yourself needing to listen to it twenty times to get all of the lyrics. Speaking of craziness, the leads on this cut are nothing short of phenomenal as far as Tech-Metal goes and as with a lot of the content here, it becomes a nuance that grabs you after several spins.
Seeing as you’ve had a tune about Cocaine and a tune about Women, a tune about Weed is also inevitable. “Bloodshot” is that tune. Specifically it’s one about living the good life. That good life consisting of good weed, good friends, getting rich, getting laid and… Yeah. Sonically, it’s a ball buster of a frenetic riffs and DJentisms that seamlessly tempo shift to allow for Madison’s multiple personalities of vocal ranges. Closings this cut with what can only be described as some kind of reverse psychotic throat gargling antics. “Couchlock” is the second track about smoking weed with the claim “I’d rather be high than sober” being a moment. It maybe heavy, it maybe groove laiden but it’s also hilariously good fun. The second re-working from the bands 2014 self titled debut “Got A Lil’ Bit Of That” is as much a standout now as it was then. Bringing it up to date with an injection of more technical guitar work and a haunting atmospheric buried electronic brings out the beast in the music. Drugs? Yeah. It’s one about having it all and inviting you to join the party like someone opening a trench coat loaded with fake watches. Just take your pick, Hunter Madison has it all. And you’re going to have the time of your life. It’s been 3 years since “Baked” got the full music video treatment and 2 years since a version of the track featuring Traitors frontman Tyler Shelton surfaced. This newer take has everything and the kitchen sink in it. Even a “Bleigh!” for good measure. If there was a tune to summarize this band, then it would be this one. It’s savage, it’s heavy and it’s got so much going on that it’s just… Cool. It may be a bunch of tunes that have been worked and re-worked for 5 years but it’s been worth the wait! [7.5/10]