Dynamos – Knowledge
“Knowledge” is one of the year’s best rock singles thus far and confirms that the Los Angeles quintet Dynamos are among the leading light of the genre’s next wave. Fired up by superior musicianship, intelligent songwriting, and the show-stopping voice of vocalist Nadia E., Dynamos are a band well schooled in how to refashion rock for modern audiences. There’s much about this new single that longtime rock music fans, and guitar rock fans in particular, will latch onto as evidence of the song’s merits and what will keep them coming back to the song again and again is the diversity of the band’s approach. Dynamos are never content with simply hitting their marks; instead, even the most traditional turns of the tune are fueled by a precise, yet rugged, style that’s all their own. That’s perhaps the best thing about Dynamos – they make great music with their own distinctive voice and, even f you hear influences coming through vocally and otherwise, they’ve completely incorporated those influences into their music.
With all of the praise rightly steered in the direction of both Nadia’s vocals and the band performance, it’s easy to gloss over one of Dynamos’ core strengths – the quality of their songwriting. They never crassly regurgitate longtime rock tropes but, instead, slap a new coat of paint on those poses and arrange dynamics in such a way that marks them as different from their contemporaries. The orchestrated qualities of the band’s music complement their lyrical acumen as well. Dynamos are a band capable of taking familiar language and subjects in unfamiliar directions with a diction all their own. It’s a long standing adage among musicians that the notes you don’t play are more important than those you do and that idea extends to the band’s writing as well thanks to the focus and brevity marking this release.
It’s difficult to choose one musical highlight. Dynamos turn in as well rounded of a rock performance you’ll hear in some time thanks to the broad based talents they bring to bear. This simply is never a one player show. The guitar tandem of Jacob Mayeda and Carlos Barrera are both tastefully modern while fusing those idiosyncrasies with an equally impressive approach to traditional rock guitar and the rhythm section of bassist Nick Schaadt and drummer Ian Nakazawa lay down a thunderously solid foundation for the guitarists to add to. Dynamos manipulate the song’s structure to maximum dramatic effect and, overall, “Knowledge” is a fluid experience with all the expected highs and lows that leaves a mark on the listener. This Los Angeles based band doesn’t come adorned with Hollywood tinsel while lacking a heart. Their love for what they do comes through in every second of “Knowledge” and elevates them several notches above their contemporaries and peers. Their latest single is the finest example yet of how well they mix rock commerciality with unquestionable individuality.