Leeds alternative rock outfit Dinosaur Pile-Up were originally formed by former Mother Vulpine frontman Matthew Bigland. During 2007, Bigland began writing songs for what would ultimately become Dinosaur Pile-Up, turning toward grunge-inspired rock riffs. Following his idol Dave Grohl's early exploits, Bigland wrote and recorded Dinosaur Pile-Up's entire debut album himself, after which he was joined by former bandmates Harry Johns (bass) and Mike Sheils (drums). The original lineup featured bassist Steve Wilson and drummer Tom Dunford, who recorded a 2009 EP and then left due to musical differences. The band's playful name derives from a scene in the 2005 remake of King Kong, where Apatosauruses are ambushed and clatter into a pile -- or as Bigland interpreted it -- a Dinosaur Pile-Up.
The band flew onto the scene with the EP The Most Powerful EP in the World, in 2009. Here the original trio put together a five-track record of up-front and in-your-face rock songs, with huge riffs injected into both "Opposites Attract" and "Beach Bug." Many were quick to draw attention to the band's similarity to Nirvana and the alt-rock of Foo Fighters, and the stand-alone single Traynor is a burning example of the grunge revival sound for which they are noted. Their frenzied live performances saw word spread quickly of their presence on the thriving Leeds music scene.
Debut album Growing Pains was released in October 2010 and took a different route from the traditional recording process. With both Wilson and Dunford gone, Bigland was momentarily a one-man band. This proved an enticing prospect for Bigland, who took two months holed up in his Bridlington-based studio to record the entire album himself -- drums, guitars and vocals -- after rejecting the services of producers Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies) and Garth Richardson (Biffy Clyro, Rage Against the Machine). Echoing the efforts of Dave Grohl on Foo Fighters' debut album, Bigland crafted the record in much the same way as his hero. The album's brilliance was in its simplicity, as displayed on the singles "Mona Lisa" and "My Rock & Roll," which are bursting with chugging guitars and pop-tinged choruses.
After the departure of Wilson and Dunford, Johns (bass) and Sheils (drums) entered the fray and became full-time members of the band. The change gave Dinosaur Pile-Up renewed impetus and ignited tours with the Pixies during late 2009 as well as a full U.K. headlining tour in 2010. ~ Scott Kerr, Rovi