Dune Rats Strike Back with More Grown-up Sound on 'Hurry Up and Wait'

Photo: Ian Laidlaw / Courtesy of Stunt Company

Dune Rats are, without a doubt, a rebel-rousing bunch whose call-outs, curse-outs, and amateurish stunts have earned them mass appeal with an audience just as eager to stick it to the man alongside them.

Hurry Up and Wait
Dune Rats

Ratbag / BMG

31 January 2020

Aussie garage rock threesome Danny Beus, Brett Jansch, and BC Michaels have always followed their creative hunches, and that hasn't changed on their third studio album and follow-up to 2017's The Kids Will Know It's Bullshit. But this time around, the boys, whether they've liked it or not, cleaned up a little — and dare I say, matured — due to their decision to switch recording locations.

Dune Rats opted to walk away from the champagne and caviar dreams of the Hollywood Hills with L.A. bigwig John Feldmann (Korn, blink-182, the Struts) and return to the place they're most comfortable creating music together, their home turf in Queensland. The decision helped shape the trajectory of the project, and the result is an audio scrapbook of chilled-back moments on the road, wily antics, and stories that would make you certain the trio's been tokin' it up in the boy's room since they were fetuses. And though Dune Rats have coined their signature sound on high-energy party anthems and two-chord guitar, they've undressed some of the instrumentals to present a cleaner, relaxed sound on Hurry Up and Wait.

For Dune Rats, this album presents a look into the memoirs of their time on the road, moments ushering them to the next gig, the next busy city, the next destination. They race forward with power choruses ala the All-American Rejects' "Move Along" and R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World" in tracks "Bobby D" and "No Plans". "Patience" and "Bad Habits" (which fans might think of as softer reboots of the Offspring's "Bad Habit" off their commercial smash Smash) are the slow breaks in their frenetic touring schedule providing retrospection on the people, things, and behaviors they've observed.

In reality, Dune Rats don't feel one way or the other about their party-hardy pasts, because what's lived is lived. "Bus is smoking with your friends in the car / A silly joke and it's taken too far / A little bit action causes coppers to run / All because your friends wanted too much fun," Beus sings on "Bad Habits". These are the real-life experiences that make a tour for bandmates:

"We didn't set out to make a big album, or a polished album, or an album about partying because the last one did alright, or an album not about partying because we want to get away from that. It's just writing about different stuff in our lives. It was always just going to be Dunies," Beus said of the inspiration for Hurry Up and Wait in a press release.

The guys unwind some more on "Stupid Is As Stupid Does", enlisting the never-idling hutzpah of suburban rap queen K. Flay. It's a perfect pairing for the mood of the album, tinted with warmth. Filmed through a retro lens-flared filter, the video shows the guys with K. Flay walking down a beach boardwalk enjoying the sunny weather, and that's how I'd imagine the crew wants you to feel when listening to the rest of the project.

Dune Rats are, without a doubt, a rebel-rousing bunch whose call-outs, curse-outs, and amateurish stunts have earned them mass appeal with an audience just as eager to stick it to the man alongside them. Hurry Up and Wait is their new battle hymn.





12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.


Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

By the Book

Flight and Return: Kendra Atleework's Memoir, 'Miracle Country'

Although inconsistent as a memoir, Miracle Country is a breathtaking environmental history. Atleework is a shrewd observer and her writing is a gratifying contribution to the desert-literature genre.


Mark Olson and Ingunn Ringvold Celebrate New Album With Performance Video (premiere)

Mark Olson (The Jayhawks) and Ingunn Ringvold share a 20-minute performance video that highlights their new album, Magdalen Accepts the Invitation. "This was an opportunity to perform the new songs and pretend in a way that we were still going on tour because we had been so looking forward to that."


David Grubbs and Taku Unami Collaborate on the Downright Riveting 'Comet Meta'

Comet Meta is a brilliant record full of compositions and moments worthy of their own accord, but what's really enticing is that it's not only by David Grubbs but of him. It's perhaps the most emotive, dream-like, and accomplished piece of Grubbsian experimental post-rock.


On Their 2003 Self-Titled Album, Buzzcocks Donned a Harder Sound and Wore it With Style and Taste

Buzzcocks, the band's fourth album since their return to touring in 1989, changed their sound but retained what made them great in the first place

Reading Pandemics

Chaucer's Plague Tales

In 18 months, the "Great Pestilence" of 1348-49 killed half of England's population, and by 1351 half the population of the world. Chaucer's plague tales reveal the conservative edges of an astonishingly innovative medieval poet.


Country's Jaime Wyatt Gets in Touch With Herself on 'Neon Cross'

Neon Cross is country artist Jaime Wyatt's way of getting in touch with all the emotions she's been going through. But more specifically, it's about accepting both the past and the present and moving on with pride.


Counterbalance 17: Public Enemy - 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back'

Hip-hop makes its debut on the Big List with Public Enemy’s meaty, beaty manifesto, and all the jealous punks can’t stop the dunk. Counterbalance’s Klinger and Mendelsohn give it a listen.


Sondre Lerche and the Art of Radical Sincerity

"It feels strange to say it", says Norwegian pop artist Sondre Lerche about his ninth studio album, "but this is the perfect time for Patience. I wanted this to be something meaningful in the middle of all that's going on."


How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.


From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.