Pterodactyl Problems
Esoteric Hobbies

1. Paresthesia
2. Protest
3. Alone in the Cold
4. Crazy
5. Heavy
6. Constellations
7. Lush Lives
8. Heroes Killers
9. Breathe
10. Exhale
11. Down the River
12. Slideshow
13. Pictures

Davey White - guitar and vocals
Jack Neila - guitar
Ciarán Neely - guitar and bass
Oliver Salathiel - drums

Pterodactyl Problems (EP 2017)

Piano on 'Slideshow' and 'Pictures' performed by Anita Mijares
Choir performance on 'Breathe' by the Rosedale Hights Chamber Choir

Music written, arranged, and performed by Pterodactyl Problems
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Geoff Hodsman
Produced by Pterodactyl Problems and Geoff Hodsman
Original cover artwork painting by Aodhan Neely

Released 2019-03-08
Reviewed 2019-03-02


The pterodactyls should be aware; this might not be for the dinosaurs that populate our world. A genre- and gender-bending quartet from Toronto in Canada is what hides behind the Pterodactyl label. This is their debut album called Esoteric Hobbies and it could probably be described as a little bit esoteric as well. Thirteen tracks and a bit over fifty minutes playing time of music that spans a wide range and doesn’t quite fit any of the predetermined boxes that we like to tick when describing something. So, dinosaurs should be aware and so shall the genre purists as this album and band does not quite fit their narrow-minded ideas.

They can be called indie rock, alternative rock, perhaps alternative metal; they have traces of punk rock, blues and many other genres in their music. Pretty creative music I would say, they do their thing with the songs and therefore make music that feels rather fresh in many regards. Sure they do it by taking familiar elements and combining it into their own concoction but what band doesn’t? The singer isn’t too great, a plus though for performing in drag but a more exciting voice would certainly complement this exciting music in a better way. I also think that the production could have been better, it feels a bit like a budget production. Still, this may be by choice as the band has a fairly unsophisticated appearance so it may be that they were going for unsophisticated and dramatic.

The album is rather good I think, with some really strong songs. The opener for example, then I also like Crazy and the ending to mention some of the stronger points. On the weaker side we have the fact that the playing time feels a tad on the long side, meaning that I tend to loose interest towards the end, this is somewhat helped by a good ending but it is still like that. Another slightly weak point is that there a bit too many tracks that feels indifferent to me, and this combined means that despite an interesting approach and creative positivity the album doesn’t really fly, it never takes off towards the highest reaches of the rock genre.

The creative and unboxable qualities are really good, are really positive for this album. But in my view they don’t quite offer the quality of songs to carry this creative approach. Fans of the more alternative views may see it slightly different and I recommend that you check this one out if you are one of those fans. The wider audiences will probably not be as impressed though. But one can always twist it around and claim that it is a very interesting and promising debut album by a very exciting band.





Label: Independent
Three similar bands: Melvins/Save Face/Weezer

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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