The Dykeenies - Nothing Means Everything

Maybe it’s a determination to show that they don’t sound like or are not influenced at all by Travis that this Scottish quintet opens their debut album with the percussion pelt and frantic, The Rezillos pitching ‘Panic’? Brian Henderson pushes his vocals to the limit to add paranoia and punch, it will get the attention of listeners from the off. It doesn’t take them long after this, to settle into a mid-tempo melodic groove, with the keyboard kick of The Editors flirting  ‘Stitches’ and high pitch vocal toe of the loved up, previous single ‘Dry Your Eyes’. Synths are like money and power to indie bands these days, if you know how to use them then they are potent and powerful, but often they can seem clumsy and a token gesture in the wrong hands. For The Dykeenies, a fuzzy, squiggling touch added by courtesy of Brian Henderson to ‘Pick You Up’, certainly harnesses the mood switching touch of the ever fashionable tool that is the synthesiser. It allows the mood to rise slowly and effortlessly increases the song’s potency.

Fear of commitment is a theme creaking at the hinges of this moody musical structure throughout and it comes out to dominate ‘In & Out’, giving Henderson’s vocals a hurried feel that he seems more than comfortable with. The spindling and spiky guitar trundle of Alan Henderson, allows the tempo of the songs to increase, often adding to the brooding nature of the material. This tactic is cunningly deployed in the searching ‘Lose Ourselves’. Haunting backing adds to the experimental tilt of this number and it keeps the freshness ticking over. The Dykeenies are certainly more energetic and impassioned than a number of their peers and there is a hardworking and sincere vibe that comes through. Something that probably means they may not have the same commercial appeal, but listeners will no doubt take to their honesty and range.

David Adair

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