So Many Dynamos

Sunday, April 4; Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center

Mar 31, 2004 at 4:00 am
Why do so many Illinois bands claim they're from "the Illinois side of St. Louis" or "the East Side"? Belleville has its own schools, city halls and quaint religious customs. "Troy, Illinois" is fun to say. The great cliffs of Alton are home to the original Big Bird. Be proud of your origins, Illinois rockers. Step up and represent. Aside from the aforementioned charms, you got hella ups on the St. Louis rock scene. While many of our musicians bathe themselves in the sticky swill of the past like pigeons in a stale beer birdbath, your energy and vision seem focused on bringing new sounds to the palette.

So Many Dynamos is a fine embodiment of this energy and vision. In just over a year's time, the band has managed to crank out a five-song EP, Are We Not Drawn Onward to New Era?, which has the splashy excitement of penguins frolicking in sparkling pools of Perrier. The band is correct in assuming that breakbeats are acceptable and encouraged in rock music; the brisk passes over the high-hat and snare drum crank the treadmill to eleven on SMD's cardio workouts, then collapse perfectly into the release of big, glorious shout-along-anthem choruses. And Ryan Wasoba can sing. The man's got nimble pipes and he uses them, navigating spikes in the band's triumphant melodies with the agility of a Himalayan goat. If these examples of SMD's greatness aren't enough, they mash out great washes of shimmering keyboard high-end as if to the manner born. What a concept: fresh, energetic indie rock from the bi-state area that you can dance to.

Based on recently collected data, it's easy to conclude that you Illinois rockers see the world in a vastly different way. Perhaps it's a force field or wormhole created by the Arch. Whatever the cause, keep rehearsing in your hometowns, and profess your excellence on the St. Louis side of Illinois more often. We need to hear it in the worst way.