Dynamos are a Los Angeles based quintet led by lead singer Nadia E. and powered by a two guitar attack referencing the past while cutting a distinct modern shape for audiences. There are a number of qualities distinguishing the band’s latest single “Knowledge” and their music in general, but chief among them is an intelligent slant to their songwriting that contrasts nicely with their refurbishing of traditional rock elements. There’s likely nothing truly new under the sun, but there’s always new ways of expressing universal human emotions dictated by how much personality the artist(s) bring to the performance. Dynamos bring plenty through the vocals, musical arrangement, and the song’s first class production. It’s the band’s first single release since last fall’s “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” and exhibits some of the same musical pedigree while expanding on the earlier song’s range in significant ways. One gets the sense that Dynamos are capable of anything and this song only reinforces that.
If you are a rock fan, it’ll be next to impossible to not like the guitar mix on this song. It’s hard to know exactly where guitarist Carlos Barrera ends and Jacob Mayeda begins and that’s a big plus. Their seamless blend of guitar playing gives Dynamos an even more impressive sound and the facility they display shifting between fiery blues-inspired runs and crunchy outright hard rock makes for invigorating listening. The song, however, is born in the rhythm section and bassist Nick Schaadt, in particular, stands out thanks to his outlandishly dexterous and sure-fingered playing. The musical arrangement has all of those classic elements you expect from the style, done exceptionally well, but Dynamos definitely possess a sharper sense of dramatics than most and embody an inspired sound in the performance without ever sounding like they are straining for effect.
Nadia E’s performance is equal parts intimate, ferocious, and joyful. She clearly relishes and understands the transformative power of her voice and her youthful vocal training instilled an early discipline and mastery of technique in her musical character that’s evolved and continues to govern her art even now. She manifests that mastery of technique most strongly when her on point phrasing surprises even longtime music fans with the vulnerable, open-hearted quake she gives certain passages and the wide-eyed freedom powering others. There’s fire, fury, and heat n every facet of Nadia’s vocal and the band crackles from feeding off her energy. Los Angeles, or elsewhere for that matter, rarely produces acts this shorn of pretension or artifice in our modern musical world and “Knowledge” is the sound of a young band, confident in the ever growing limits of their powers, taking to full flight and soaring higher than ever before. Nadia E. and her band mates have just begun a journey destined to take them into the loftiest reaches of the modern music world and invite us along for the ride.