Day 153 – #322. So Many Dynamos – Flashlights

So Many Dynamos - Flashlights Album Review

I don’t know if I’ve addressed this topic in particular as yet, which is somewhat surprising. I can’t justify why I haven’t brought it up before, until 153 days into this thing, but here goes: there is something unbelievably satisfying about the “dig.”

Similar to that of the vinyl “dig,” finding a band either through a series of other bands, seeing them live before hearing them on record, or even random happenstance – all happen to be some of the most fulfilling experiences a music fan can have.

I mean, think about it: there’s almost too much music. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of music I own. As I’m sure is the case with your playlists as well, there are multiple days of music to which you have instant access. Nobody out there listens to “just” 3 or 4 bands. You could conceivably stay up for a delirious 72-hour period and not get through your entire library – maybe not even past “S.”

Regardless of the perpetual onslaught of music made available today by the Internet and streaming, once you find that band, and sink your teeth into their discography for the very first time… there is not a thing like it. Ignore the inevitable emptiness felt once you get through to the end and realize there’s nothing more, and in the cases of bands that aren’t around anymore, won’t ever be anymore.

So while I don’t remember the specifics regarding the way I found out about St. Louis, Missouri’s So Many Dynamos (a palindrome: somanydynamos), I’m pleased beyond words that I did. I believe I saw them open for HORSE the Band several years back at State Theatre in St. Petersburg. If I recall correctly, they stated that their parents were in attendance at the show, because Florida.

I think what hooked me that night was their humorous banter between songs. It was smart, and a bit on the nerdy side, which is also a good way to describe their music. Not every band can play multiple keyboards and get away with it, or combine natural drums with electric versions and not have it be a hokey mess. So Many Dynamos are able to employ both of these methods with what appears to be relative ease.

Flashlights is their second full length, and features some of the most creative and intricate, dancey, electronic rock I’ve ever heard. It’s like if some of the best elements of The Faint and The Dismemberment Plan made sweet love and had a digital baby, except without all the digital placenta.

Some sections of their songs are so complex that they bare resemblance even to math rock, like the opening of “We Vibrate, We Do.” Ever heard two instruments talk to each other? You will hear.

Other notable portions of Flashlights: that sweet horn section on “Search Party” which puts the whole song into “over the top” mode a la Plot to Blow up the Eiffel Tower. “Home is Where the Box Wine Is” is angular, discordant, and lovely.

The feels hit their apex on “How High the Moon” – a track which builds into a vulnerable, almost piercing crescendo:

There are words that could never intend to be heard through conditioning vents.
There are hearts that could only relate to a song that will never see tape.
There are landmines to never be fired made of ends that stay forever untied.
So we throw searchlights into the sky,
and we wait for C cells to go dry.

I won’t claim to be the best at literary interpretation, but I get a serious “trying to find the right person and always looking in the wrong places” vibe from that passage.

This is, again, another one of those bands that will never play the AMA’s, but I’ll be damned if you won’t at least bob your head to 90% of this record.

Also, while I’m still thinking about it, visit their perilously funny comedy Tumblr account: Indie Basketball. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so just breathe, click, and be #blessed merry.

From Flashlights, this is So Many Dynamos’ “Progress” –

Standout tracks: “Search Party” and “In Every Direction” and “We Vibrate, We Do”
Weakest track: “In Our Sleep” – too sludgy for my mood today.

RIYL: Indie electronic dancey rock. Q and Not U, The Faint, Dismemberment Plan, Thunderbirds Are Now!



  1. Pingback: Day 252 – #324. So Many Dynamos – When I Explode « One Record Per Day

  2. Pingback: Day 305 – #323. So Many Dynamos – The Loud Wars « One Record Per Day

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