So Many Dynamos
Flashlights


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
September 11th, 2008 | 23 replies | 4,685 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Delightful indie rock with proggy sensibilities...

St. Louis's So Many Dynamos released their debut, When I Explode, in 2004, and while it wasn't exactly a release that brought enormous success to the band, it did accomplish its mission, to expose a select few to the band's proggy indie rock sound. In the two years after its release, the band expanded on the progressive elements hinted at on the first album, and utilized a rather eclectic collection of additional instruments in the writing process for their sophomore release, Flashlights.

The album as a whole displays a predominately indie rock sound, but elements of progressive music, jam rock, and even experimental/psychadelic elements break into the songs on occasion. To put it simply, the album almost never gets boring. The music, as well as the actual instruments, constantly shift around and evolve, and the sound never really becomes stagnant. Home Is Where The Box Whine Is is an excellent illustration of this, as the song begins with an intro that would feel right at home on a Fall Of Troy album, before segueing into a sing-a-long chorus section containing...blastbeats? See what I mean?

As you may have gathered from the mention of blastbeats, they aren't exactly your average indie rockers, instrumentally speaking. The drumming is absolutely top notch, and displays an almost math rock flair at times, not to mention the interesting beats and cymbal use. The guitarists shift styles constantly, moving in and out of dissonant oddly timed passages, atmospheric sections that draw a bit from post rock, upbeat indie rock sections, progressive rock riffs, and catchy melodic sections, often in the same song. The bass is relatively low in the mix, but its easy enough to make out if you really pay attention. The bass usually uses distortion, which is a bit odd for an indie band, but the contrast it makes with the usually chiming guitar tone adds an interesting aspect to the sound. The vocals are delivered in a half shouted, half sung style, and more times than not there are two or more band members contributing vocals. Other instruments not mentioned include a toy accordion, a horn section, a choir, and what sounds like a toy piano, all of which add to the eclectic feel of the album immensely.

The vocal performances on Search Party, Progress, and How High The Moon are probably the best showcases of the different deliveries that are utelized. Search Party contains some of the most interesting vocal performances on the album, switching back and forth between passionate yelling, lazy melodies, authoritative spoken passages, and even gang shouts. The lyrical content is just as impressive, and odd, as everything else here. I think the best way to illustrate the oddball lyrics are with the opening lines of the song Progress.

"single cell, single cell
organisms orchestrating
synthesize and mutate
we have digits we have organs
let us here is the process you can not stop the progress
there is fiction in our fission
there are actions in our words..."

The most simple way to summarize it is to simply say that there is almost nothing oridinary about So Many Dynamos. Even their live shows, which are almost abhorrently energetic, don't match up with their contemporaries (not to mention they often play with bands such as The Number Twelve Looks Like You and Heavy Heavy Low Low). So Many Dynamos is a band that genuinely has something to offer for all listeners, so if you are a fan of interesting instrumental and vocal work, zany lyrics that actually make sense once you break the surface, or refreshing songwriting, you are sure to find something enjoyable here.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
HighandDriving
September 11th 2008



3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Search Party is dope.

I guess you saw em play with The #12 also.

Also good review.

marksellsuswallets
September 11th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't see them with the #12 unfortunately :/
HORSE, and HHLL...

HighandDriving
September 11th 2008



3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oppps I meant Horse.

marksellsuswallets
September 11th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it was like a day or two after their drummer got arrested haha

jrowa001
September 11th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this sounds good, will check it out. for a good indie band that take a bit of a progressive approach is In A Nutshell. their album Arrhythmia is really good

marksellsuswallets
September 11th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I listened to In A Nutshell on their MySpace and I'm liking what I'm hearing so far...If you haven't listened to this yet, its a lot more progressive and experimental...I guess its kind of like if Tera Melos chilled out a bit and didn't have ridiculously technical guitar work

jrowa001
September 12th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cool man glad you liked their stuff. when i say a progressive approach i just mean they dont settle for short catchy tunes.

i downloaded this and listened to a couple songs and i really liked it

marksellsuswallets
September 12th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well I'm glad you enjoyed it...they're coming out with their new album pretty soon so that should be pretty neat...

HighandDriving
September 12th 2008



3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I failed to mention how these guys are textbook geeks.

marksellsuswallets
September 12th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you mean the textbook definition of geeks then yes...they are haha...

Bleak123
September 12th 2008



1902 Comments


I pretty much want this.

marksellsuswallets
September 12th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well...you should check it out then?

Bleak123
September 12th 2008



1902 Comments


I shall check it out.

marksellsuswallets
September 12th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Check it out asap, you won't be sorry!

Bleak123
September 12th 2008



1902 Comments


It's actually 50.4 % downloaded aha

marksellsuswallets
September 12th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well get that mess 100% downloaded bra...

Bleak123
September 14th 2008



1902 Comments


Initial reaction = 4

marksellsuswallets
September 14th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been listening to this for over a year now and every time I listen to it it still sounds fresh...

Understanding
January 11th 2009



16 Comments


same.


i saw these guys with Horse too. They really REALLY put on a good show. I can't wait to see them again and know the words to their songs this time.

gaslightanthem
January 11th 2009



5209 Comments


excellent album



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