So Many Dynamos
The Loud Wars


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
June 6th, 2009 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hey wait, this isn't loud at all...

The sound of So Many Dynamos has always been somewhat of a difficult to pin down. The band's 2006 release, Flashlights, displayed aspects of a variety of different genres: the inherent catchiness of indie rock, the complex rhythmic structures of math rock, and the lush keyboard textures of post-rock/punk to name a few, but what made the album a truly interesting listen was the band's own quirky energy that seeped into the songs and bubbled subtly just below the surface. However, the way in which the album blended the approachable aspects of indie rock with the aspects of much more challenging genres left it teetering dangerously on a fairly fine line, so it seemed as though a significant progression in either direction could potentially alienate a good portion of the band's fan-base. So, how does a band like So Many Dynamos avoid alienating any listeners and simultaneously manage to make noticeable progressions? The answer, obviously, is to progress in both directions.

On the surface, The Loud Wars seems to be just an expansion on everything that made Flashlights an enjoyable and rather unique album, pairing incredibly infectious melodies with impressively tight musicianship, but underneath the surface, some pretty significant changes have been made. Rather than sticking with the same method of using catchy melodic sections to provide a contrast to the more complex and dissonant passages (a motif that has really become all but played out as of late), the band has found a way to blend the two together in an almost seamless fashion. Basically, instead of using stark contrasts to make the songs themselves more interesting, the contrasting elements are blended together in varying degrees; this creates moments of simple melodies that either naturally progress into thick, angular walls of noise, or swell into vibrant, soaring climaxes.

However, the revamped songwriting style isn't the only thing this album has going for it. What really ends up driving the album is that same energetic quirkiness that was present in previous recordings, except now, instead of stewing just below the surface, that quirky liveliness has broken through and really taken over the band's sound. Album opener (and highlight) Artifacts of Sound really serves as a picture perfect example of this. The pseudo-dueling guitar riffs, frantic drum patterns, fuzzy, synthesized basslines (all of which are provided by Aaron Stovall's various keyboards), and clashing keyboard melodies are all glued together by this inexplicable, oddball sense of infectiousness, and topped off with Stovall's distinctive, not completely spoken, not completely sung vocal delivery. The truth is, nearly every song on offer here is worthy of the title "album highlight". From the driving beats and constantly evolving melodies and textures of New Bones, to the jaunty instrumentals and quirky storytelling of The Novelty of Haunting, to the synth filled eccentricities of the 6 minute closer The Formula, and everything in between, there really isn't a portion of the album that disappoints.

With The Loud Wars, So Many Dynamos has really proven that they can consistently churn out unique and inventive music that manages to be both challenging and accessible, and with the recent support of a larger label in Vagrant Records, they might finally get the recognition they truly deserve. If the progression from 2006 to the present is any indication, the Dynamos really have the potential to become a huge force amongst their contemporaries.



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
marksellsuswallets
June 6th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

1) stream it here: http://www.buzzgrinder.com/stream-so-many-dynamos-loud-wars/
2) this took forever to write for some reason
3) album rules face

gaslightanthem
June 6th 2009


5209 Comments


band rules yet to hear this but i shall

elephantREVOLUTION
June 6th 2009


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

2) this took forever to write for some reason


i couldn't even write a sound off for it, i tried for about 30 minutes

album rules, i have been listening to it all week

also, glaciers is based off of search party backwards for anyone who didn't know. try it out for yourself, it's pretty cool

marksellsuswallets
June 6th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really? I did notice it had a sort of backwards/off kilter beat to it that was sort of familiar but I didn't know it was based off of that.

elephantREVOLUTION
June 6th 2009


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

did anyone else pre-order this? usually i get pre-orders a few days early but i haven't got it yet. i want to listen to my new bones vinyl

Waior
June 6th 2009


11461 Comments


Ugh, review really rules. And by the looks of it, so does the album. However...

pairing incredibly infections melodies with impressively tight musicianship


marksellsuswallets
June 6th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Poo, I thought I fixed all the typos =( Oh well...fixed.

And yeah, the album rules. It rules hard. Get it.

AILD724
June 7th 2009


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I hadn't heard of this band until now(I'm just getting into indie music), and I have to say, they have a lot of talent. My personal favorite so far off the album is "New Bones".

marksellsuswallets
June 7th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tbh I can't even pick a favorite off of this. Every song rules.

AILD724
June 8th 2009


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

True, the album is awesome as a whole.

Ludovician
June 10th 2009


35 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I got this the other day, but have yet to listen to it. Flashlights owns, though.

IRAI
June 11th 2009


1567 Comments


i need to get this ASAP.



i remember when i saw them with HORSE the band, and this is what made me instantly like them.

(after their first song)

SMD :"Surprise! were not a hardcore band. who's pissed about that?"

random guy :"i am."

SMD : "oh , do you want me to tune down to drop D and play some breakdowns for you?"

(later in the set)

SMD : "is pissed off hardcore dude still here?"

pissed off hardcore dude : " yeah, you guys suck."

SMD : " when was the last time your band was asked to tour with HORSE the band? oh yeah, never."

totally got burned. it was awesome.



this album should rule.

marksellsuswallets
June 11th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i need to get this ASAP.

Yes you do, and so does everybody else.

iarescientists
June 11th 2009


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

saw these guys last night

they're kind of douches as evidenced by irai's story but they make good music so whatever

marksellsuswallets
June 11th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That means you saw them with Maps and Atlases also and that makes me sad...

iarescientists
June 11th 2009


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

word

joshuatree
Emeritus
June 15th 2009


3742 Comments


the only interesting part about this band is their name

MeraTelos
June 15th 2009


1 Comments


saw these guys open for maps and atlases...fun show i guess, though i wanted to punch multiple band members during their set due to their ridiculous gesticulations

marksellsuswallets
June 15th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm not sure I follow that...if you mean SMD moved around too much during their set then that makes no sense...


astrel
July 28th 2009


2614 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is fun.



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