Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dynamos - Shake, Rattle, & Roll

Dynamos - Shake, Rattle, & Roll 

“Shake, Rattle, and Roll” is Dynamos’ first release since their debut EP Cold Comfort landed on the scene with a roar. The Southern California based band boasts five members, including bidding superstar vocalist Nadia Elmistikawy, who come together on their past recordings and new single alike with combustible chemistry that positions these young performers as one of the most promising musical acts today. Top shelf production helps accentuate the band’s interplay with a warm blanket of sound enveloping the material and performance that never draws attention to itself and, instead, serves the musicians and songwriting alike as it should. “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” has a deceptive simplicity, but there’s some sly winking going on that the band never plays up and, instead, contributes to the intelligence and bright, boisterous spirit that defines the best rock and roll. Dynamos have upped their game with this release and are poised to ascend to the next level.

Nadia Elmistikawy’s vocal is the song’s defining strength. She doesn’t show up immediately in the tune, but after a brief introduction, and it has a powerfully transformative effect when her presence exerts its influence over the track. Her extensive vocal training allows her to pursue a variety of approaches over the song’s condensed running time and she never oversteps her boundaries at the expense of her surrounding players. Instead, her emotiveness brings a richer, more meaningful feel to the lyrics and helps highlight the slightly under the radar intelligence informing the lyric and song structure alike. Rather than positioning her voice against the arrangement, Elmistikawy shows the good instincts to sing alongside the instruments instead and it results in a much more unified performance than we would have otherwise experienced. She’s a multi-faceted vocal talent who gets under the skin of a song and makes it an expression of her personal identity. 

The players serve the track well. The way “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” opens with the rhythm section setting the early direction with jagged guitar contributions soon takes off into full fledged rock flight that couples power together with undeniable stylishness. Bassist Nick Schaadt and drummer Ian Nakawaza make for an impressive rhythm section tandem and they give the guitars of Jacob Mayeda and Carlos Barrea a strong platform from which they can weave crackling rock magic. The instrumentalists never succumb to any sort of over indulgence – these are players, despite their young age, who recognize that the notes you don’t play often have more weight and value than those you do. Despite the brash rock and roll spirit on display here, the performance is thankfully tasteful and never relies on cookie cutter histrionics common to heavy handed, artless rock tracks. Dynamos, instead, stand out from the pack and their single “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” grabs the presumably moribund genre of rock music and gives it a jostle guaranteed to shake some life into the form.  


Scott Wigley

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