Just two full months left in this project. I took a Halloween sabbatical, but I will revisit the B-side of Say Anything’s In Defense of the Genre soon.
As I’ve written before, St. Louis, Missouri’s So Many Dynamos are my favorite palindromically-named band. I’ve seen them play my home state of Florida a couple of times, the first of which when they opened for, yes, HORSE the Band, in a bizarre mash of sounds.
With their 2009 release The Loud Wars, the group continues to be a fun, quirky band writing fun, quirky songs. At their best, songs like “The Novelty of Haunting” and “New Bones” are intricate and smart synth-based tracks wrapped up with intricate drum machine beats. The way the two parry each other propels the flow of much of the group’s sound.
This dialogue between keys and percussion of all sorts, both organic and digital, makes for an enjoyable listen – most of the time, anyway. When the two start to battle one another, with guitars thrown on top (“Friendarmy”) or when one instrument takes an unusually large portion of the spotlight (“It’s Gonna Rain”), the resulting mess is a tedious put-off.
In essence, when they’re good, they’re great. When they aren’t, some of the sounds here will nestle into eardrums as an unfortunate and unwelcome stranger. Thankfully, that isn’t often.
Both “Novelty of Haunting” and “New Bones” explore themes of the alpha and the omega. “Novelty of Haunting” in particular is a well-crafted story, following a lead character who has died in a car crash but comes back as a spirit to see how his friends reacted to his death. But after a while of being ghoulish, as he writes, the “novelty of haunting has worn off.” Super inventive lyric-writing at times from these midwest lads.
Below, you’ll find the video for “New Bones,” a song made up entirely of the innards of what I think theremin robots are made of. Motherboards? …wires? I’m guessing chips and RAM? Whatever, it’s neat.
From the latest So Many Dynamos record (I know – It’s been 4+ years tool; supposedly a new full-length is in the works), this is “New Bones” –
Standout tracks: “The Novelty of Haunting” and “New Bones”
Weakest track: “Friendarmy” is too much, bordering on tedium.
RIYL: Thinking about what you’d do should you come back as a ghost.