Australia has been no stranger to churning out great quality rock bands over the years, even a couple of high-profiles ones. So it’s no surprise that My Dynamite stay true to the concept. They may not hit the high-octane vein like many of their compatriots but that doesn’t make their music any less enjoyable.
Blending boogie, blues and Southern rock into one neat package, it’s like the band have time-travelled from the 1970s into the present day. Otherside proves why the classic rock genre is defined by a band’s sound and not its quality. Because that’s exactly what it is: classic. Fusing the blues and grit of The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin with the bouncy honky tonk of The Faces and The Black Crowes, it makes for a great throwback which is sorely missing in today’s modern rock climate.
Opening numbers “Round the Bend” and “Witch Hat” are bouncy, feel-good tracks and are a declaration of who they are. With the rasping vocals and the infectious grooves, you can’t help but smile and bounce along to the music. Whilst the gritty, crunching and bluesy style of the guitar solos may have elements of the past, they have a slight modern twist to them as well. The soulful “Oohs” blend in with ease, adding extra complexity and depth, it almost sounds like the band are jamming with a gospel choir to create some great harmonies. “Can’t Tell Lies” revisits this style, only with more fleshed-out backing vocals.
However, it’s not all upbeat. The melancholic “So Familiar” deals with the idea of complacency, full of Southern twangs, you can just imagine this two-thirds into a live set before the barn-burning final songs. “Love Revolution” also falls into this category; nicely spaced out from its counterpart, it’s the weaker of the two ballads found on the album.
“Motortalkin’” and the title track pick up the pace, forcefully pushing you into a grimy corner. With the echoes of Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Black Crowes, you can almost picture the former being used in a Vietnam film, if only to replace “Fortunate Sun”.
Then, there’s “Don’t Steal the Light”, the album’s final track and a different beast entirely. Stripped back and string-driven; its acoustic sound allows its feeling of calm to wash over you, the sort of thing you’d expect to hear in the score of a film during the epilogue as the film looks to a brighter future.
My Dynamite may not be one of the Land Down Under’s most Hell-raising bands but their unique blend of old school sounds scratches an itch I didn’t realise I had. In a world where many modern and upcoming bands are using the same basic blueprint (most of whom execute it brilliantly), Otherside is a representation of what rock was before a cleaner and more sterile beast took its place.
Otherside is out now