Walrus of Sound: DinoWalrus at Galapagos is a Lesson in De-Evolution

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There are tons of bands with idiotic names. Then there’s the rare instance when one such band creates a sound so meticulous in its batshit ingenuity that it not only transcends the offhand stupidity of the group’s moniker but, in a sublime reversal of expectation, actually justifies it in a way that makes you feel stupid for being so nominally apprehensive in the first place. Thursday night I saw [ DinoWalrus], from “the County of Kings” at [Galapagos](http://www.galapagosartspace.com) in Williamsburg.

But before I actually discuss what DinoWalrus sounds like, let’s parse the etymology a bit more. Essentially, this is evolution in microcosm: The prehistoric reptile growing fur and whiskers and becoming, over time, a sizable, adorable aquatic mammal. Extrapolate this Darwinism to music and we get something like a progression from T. Rex to—why not?—Mastodon.

DinoWalrus definitely psychs you out, and occasionally bursts into face-peeling shred, but what it really comes off as is a pre-Perestroika Krautrock broadcast picking up pirate AOR-and-disco playlists from some buried offshore wire, and then rocking that shit backwards in really tight pants. It’s pretty great.

The trio switches instruments like mid-life crises in a Guitar Center, whipping out guitars, keyboards, extra toms, some flashlight/loop-trigger, more guitars. Axeman/jump-around man Pete Feigenbaum mentioned to me that he’s working on building up big walls of sound with all this stuff, but the effect, like this guy’s wild-man-in-the-burbs stage dives, is surprisingly nimble. No matter the tech-buildup going on under the lights, it’s really all about watching dudes straddle, in descending order of complexity, instruments, tables and confused waitstaff. De-evolution, it turns out, is slightly more fun to watch than the slog out of the Cambrian stew after all.

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