MUSIC REVIEW: Dactyl Terra – Fee Fi Fo Fum (2024)

Fee fi fo fum, I smell the vinyl of a new album. A Dactyl Terra album to be precise.

Here at Peppermint Iguana HQ we are always on the lookout for new music and new bands. Whilst it is fun to look back to your youth and remember the first time you heard one of your favourite bands, nostalgia is not what it used to be. We prefer going out and reliving that buzz by continuing to discover.

We have been lucky enough to be able to regularly find great new music. Although it’s not very often we discover really good new music. Music that matches the buzz when you first heard (*insert name of your all tine favourite band). Music that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It does still happen now and again though.

Dactyl Terra are one of those bands. Going to see them live gives us the same buzz as going to see our favourite bands when we were teenagers.

I hasten to add that many of those in the crowd don’t need nostalgia, they are still in their actual youth. As are the band. Which makes it all the more remarkable that they have acquired so much talent in so little time. I’ve got pants older than these guys.

But what do they sound like? I’ve been trying to pin it down for a while. They are heavy, funky and psychedelic,  but at the same time none of these things. Solid basslines, swirling fuzzy guitar with twiddly old school synth noises thrown in, all pushed through a staggering bank of pedals. I don’t they will be doing an acoustic set any time soon.

Then it came to me. They remind me of the oft-overlooked Ladbroke Grove Scene of the late sixties and early seventies. Too heavy to be hippies, too psychedelic to be rockers. But with a very twenty-first century twist. No one can accuse them of trying to copy that vibe, they seem to have accidentally stumbled upon the same formula all by themselves. But you could slap them on a compilation of ‘freak’ bands and they would fit in perfectly.

Each of the ten tunes has it’s own distinctive character and takes you on a psychedelic roller coaster ride. Moody bits leading into full throttle rockers. The album is all killer and no filler. I suspect this is going to be getting played a lot here and for a long time to come.

This new album has been two years in the making.  Recorded in the band’s own recording studio (shed) despite having moved home half way through the recording.  (An autonomous, independent, DIY band. They just keep on ticking the right boxes for us.)

This is the first time any of these tracks have seen the light of day in physical form, although ‘Submarine’ and ‘Cheese Burger’ have been on the Tubes of You for a while now (which is what passes for  being a ‘single’ these days).

Swordfish has sort of appeared before,  but this is a reworking of that tune.

The album is available in vinyl and CD format and available to stream on Bandcamp. We recommend the clearest format available to you and crank it up loud. It has a beautiful cover drawn by bassist Erin, who happens to be quite nifty tattoo artist to pay the bills.

The band took the bold step of playing the album in its entirety, in order, at the launch party in Porters, Cardiff. The venue has moved since we last went there, and the new space is even better than the old one – although sadly there is no longer the wickedly funky beer garden. It’s down hidden alleyways tucked away behind St David’s Centre and is the perfect size for our liking.


Although it’s only the launch day of the album,  it features many tunes that have been tried and tested live over the last few years so those familiar with the band lapped it up.

I say ‘familiar with the band’, because it’s a free entry venue and some will have just wandered off the street because they like the venue. Looking around the room I didn’t see anyone that wasn’t blown away by the set.

Having been around the block many times we know that just being a great band does not guarantee commercial success. Part of me doesn’t want them to get any bigger because that will be the end of amazing nights like this, but they are a little bit special and if there is any justice in the world, they would be headlining the big pointy stage on Worthy Farm rather than you know who.

Catch them soon. You won’t regret it.