There’s a lot to be said about a band that has an electric sense of joy binding their discography together. In order for that to happen, a cocktail comprised of a shot of rapture, an infusion of ingenuity, and a mixer of carefree abandon needs to be consistently crafted. If it sounds like a delicate and difficult feat, it’s because it is. Yet, it is one that Dune Rats have officially pulled off for the third time on their latest album, Hurry Up and Wait.
Hurry Up and Wait is preceded by 2017’s The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit, which landed the Australian rock trio (comprised of Danny Beus, Brett Jansch, and BC Michaels) an ARIA nomination and an ever-growing global fanbase. It’s easy to see why: the music of Dune Rats makes people happy. That may sound simple on the surface, but the ability to make people feel a sense of unadulterated elation is a skill in and of itself. As a result of this, their music possesses an innate level of infectiousness that is difficult to describe but unmistakable to feel. This sensation, one that shall be dubbed the “Dune Rats effect,” once again contains a welcome presence in Hurry Up and Wait.
Listening to Hurry Up and Wait is like a jolt of raw power coursing through the veins. It serves as another showcase of the trio’s unparalleled zest and ability to turn nearly any topic into the subject of a musical epic. For instance, ‘If My Bong Could Talk’ offers lyrics that are as creatively hilarious as the title itself, and first official track ‘Bobby D’ opens in the most pitch-perfect manner a Dune Rats album possibly could (listen, and you’ll see). Furthermore, ‘Mountains Come and Go But Aussie Pub Rock Lives On (Forever)’ explodes the “nod to local roots” sonic trope into a level of romping grandeur that is sure to have listeners – regardless of whether they have a connection to Australia or not – passionately chanting along.
Something that feels particularly special about Hurry Up and Wait is its ability to celebrate components of life while still recognizing that it can, as we’re all acutely aware, often be difficult (this is something Dune Rats previously executed exceptionally well in their 2016 single, ‘Bullshit’). Tracks ‘Rock Bottom,’ ‘The Skids,’ and ‘Bad Habits’ specifically are strong reminders that to be human is to endure struggle – mistakes and bad days are inevitable. Yet, a sense of consolation comes from remembering that we’re all struggling in our own way together, and that’s where Dune Rats really pack a punch. There’s an undeniable catharsis that occurs when the parts of ourselves that we may wish to leave unacknowledged are unabashedly sung about in an anthemic, lightning-soaked chorus. Hurry Up and Wait teaches us that since we can’t change the fact that hard times will occasionally come around to break up the fun, we may as well navigate through it all with a smirk and a wink. The comfort and camaraderie that results is the “Dune Rats effect” at play yet again.
In fact, it is a microcosm of the “Dune Rats effect” that opens the entirety of Hurry Up and Wait. Before the listener is thrown full-throttle into ‘Bobby D,’ they are introduced to him – a fan – in the form of a voicemail that was left to Beus. In the voicemail, Bobby D’s underlying message is regarding the strong sense of connection he feels to the band (“We should have grown up together and been best mates,” he says at one point). An element of note about Hurry Up and Wait is that whether the listener be a longtime Dunies fan or a newcomer, the combination of its lyrical content and spitfire energy yields the potential to turn anyone into a Bobby D. It catalyzes connection through its embrace of joy and ability to take tougher times in stride – both of which are qualities someone would want in a best mate.
Together, Danny Beus, Brett Jansch, and BC Michaels gave a global community of listeners something to celebrate in the form of Hurry Up and Wait – whether that be the embrace of their bad habits, their bongs, or the newfound best mates we feel like we should have known all along.
Hurry Up and Wait is out on 31st January via BMG.