Dynamos – Knowledge
Dynamos knows how to write and record great rock music. Their latest single “Knowledge” builds on the success they experienced with its predecessor “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” with another hard-hitting track adeptly combining the merits of traditional rock with a thoroughly modern sound practically leaping out of the speakers. The greatest rock music is predominantly led by an equally great singer and there’s no question that Dynamos has a vocal presentation second to none, but the instrumental presentation for “Knowledge” is just as vivid and vocalist Nadia E. is clearly well complemented by first class band mates. Dynamos, as before, sound like a band – not some gussied up band in name only that’s more about being a star vehicle for Nadia E. and our increasingly impoverished musical landscape is a little more bearable thanks to their presence on the scene. Based on the strengths of this song and performance, their presence will only grow.
Jacob Mayeda and Carlos Barrera’s guitar playing is a definite musical highlight. They bring their disparate yet complementary styles together in a very natural way, yet they are able to incorporate a number of melodic lead runs into the song’s structure to add vivid color. There’s a lot of attitude, pure in your face rock music assertiveness, embedded in this song and a lot of comes from the aggressive rhythm section attack. Bassist Nick Schaadt and drummer Ian Nakazawa are hard hitting, but play with obvious flexibility without ever losing their edge. Too many rock acts, past and present, choose a pretty basic rhythm section setup, but Dynamos are far from content to pursue such ends and, instead, pour an immense amount of energy into the groove they lay down for the singing and other higher register instruments. Dynamos plays as a cohesive unit and sport an obvious chemistry that overcomes their relatively brief time together thus far.
The band’s promotional materials push Nadia’s diversity as a singer and they’re right to do so. She can bring a full on wail to the lyrics and, conversely, back off to much more vulnerable passages where she tempers her lungpower. She has an extraordinary command of phrasing, as well as dynamics, we can credit to her childhood training as a vocalist as well as any innate talents. What you cannot teach, however, is individual style and Nadia clearly has her own voice despite whatever influences color her approach. She has considerable personal style as a writer too. The lyrics for “Knowledge” never go in for remaking the wheel, but there’s every bit of the same confidence and focus characterizing the words as we hear in the vocal and musicianship. Dynamos gives us a complete, well rounded package with their latest single release and are a band capable of taking their music wherever they like while bringing audiences along for the ride. The Los Angeles five piece are a rapidly rising act for one reason above all others – they’re that damn good.