Music

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.

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