The name first came up when a friend’s band supported them at a recent Toronto date at El Mocambo. They were put on the list of bands I was supposed to listen to but probably never would (The Dirty Projectors are queued up next, I swear). While perusing Pitchfork, I saw their new album was recently 5.5’d. Skimming the accompanying article I saw numerous keywords that caught my eye: Washington, DeSoto Records, and finally, the Dismemberment Plan. Any mention of the D-Plan can be considered an endorsement in my eyes, so I gave these dudes from St. Louis the old look-see.
Perhaps the mention of the Dismemberment Plan has coloured my perception, but the Washington sound is definitely a major influence here. The singer’s voice is a dead ringer for Travis Morrison, and the band has definitely listened to a lot of Q and Not U. Is it entirely original? Perhaps not, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better well to draw from. Anything that makes Travis Morrison’s retirement from music more palatable is welcome. While not as weird as the Plan tended to be, So Many Dynamos retain the frenetic energy, while peppering their songs with the sing-along vocals that seem ubiquitous in rock bands these days.
Opening track ‘Artifacts of Sound’ is an an upbeat bass driven tune that sets the tone for the rest of the album. After multiple listens, the rest kind of blends together, aside from occasional memorable lyrics like the chorus of ‘If You Didn’t Want to Know.’ “If every reaction has an opposite reaction, what’d you think would happen?” makes use of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which I can approve of. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that a band named after a bunch electrical generators would have at least a couple instances of scientific references. Closing track ‘The Formula’ also has gem of a final refrain that’s been stuck in my head.
There’s a place in the atmosphere
Where the sound waves go when they disappear
Where the words you speak that no one should know
Where’d you think that your prayers go?
A little more variety musically would’ve gone a long way, but the lyrics have saved this album for me. With my recent bout of ADD I seem to lose sight of them more often than not. Consider this a cautious recommendation.
Tags: So Many Dynamos