My Dynamite: Self Titled

Blending a fluid and energetic mix of hard rock, blues, soul and classic rock, the self titled debut album from Australian rockers My Dynamite is a treat for all craving straight forward but fresh rock n roll. Lively and honest the album ticks all the boxes of strong and easily accessible rock music whilst offering familiar flavours and sounds brought right up to date.

The quartet of Pat Carmody (vocals, harp), Jorge Balas (guitar), Benny Wolf (guitar), Travis Fraser (bass), and Simon Aarons (drums) use inspirations from the likes of The Faces, Black Crowes and The Stones with deep spices of classic rock found in the likes of Led Zeppelin to fuel their own creativity. It makes for songs which are instantly engaging and easy to find an attachment with. They do not venture into unknown fields but re-invigorate the musical tools laid down in history to great effect. The sharing of stages with bands such as The Screaming Jets and Rose Tattoo has alerted and drawn in the attention of their homeland and now with their debut it is not hard to imagine a wider set focus coming their way.

The basic premise to My Dynamite and their songs is to have a good time though they do not resort to obvious easy lyrical pickings singing only about booze, women and getting down to shake bits. The songs come with passion and emotions as prevalent as the urge to hang loose and it makes for an infectiously pleasing and at times raucous fun. Opener Take It Or Leave It is a perfect example, the vocals of Carmody bringing a delivery and lyric seemingly personal and emotive over a flowing weave of excited riffs, sharp melodic play and a pulsating bassline. With added keys sweeping warmly through the fine breeze of rock sounds the track is an easy companion for the ear especially with the teasing harp play from the vocalist.

The following Inside Out brings a more expressive and tempered energy to its heart, the track a blues soaked piece of songwriting finery, whilst the next in line If We’re Livin’ ignites boosters again to please the ear with a feistier breath and intent. Within the three songs you have a sure understanding and expectation of what the band and album offers. There are no real surprises from here on in but plenty of enjoyable and catchy tunes to have fun with.

Tracks like Dirty Game, the emotion wringing slow walking Singing Stormy Weather, and Big Attraction with its excellent melodic poise and fiery veins of guitar and keys invention, continue the eager easy to get along with sounds. There is never a point on the release where one is distracted by the outside world or feeling the urge to swiftly move on, the appealing welcoming of the music consistent.

Highlights of the album come in the excellent pair of songs Raise Your Glasses and the closing Fork In Your Tongue. The first is quite simply an irrepressible urge to party and as the title suggests it is no black tie event. Anthemic and mischievous one can imagine the track is a big favourite at live shows and vision a swell of bodies unleashed to the song. The band leaves the best to last and it is easily the biggest glory on the release. Fork In Your Tongue is a hypnotic heart stealing roughed up slice of blues. Mesmeric in the extreme and rigorously infectious it puts the other strong tracks in the shade, its electric scuzz lilt igniting energies and aural tensions to give distinct pleasure and draw an instinctive attention.

Without conjuring up brand new ventures My Dynamite has produced an album which will be a rich feast for all those genre loving fans. For those with tastes further afield there is still plenty on the album to find a fun time with even if as a enjoyable passing moment.

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RingMaster 15/06/2012

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Stone Axe: Stone Axe II Deluxe Edition

Released a couple of years ago Stone Axe II is given another outing as a special deluxe addition on Ripple Music and is a vibrant treat for not only fans of the band Stone Axe but for rock music lovers in general. If you have not yet felt the majestic power and heart of Stone Axe and their sounds then this release of their second album complete with a second CD of fifteen tracks only previously available either upon their vinyl releases, as part of compilations, or are just rare tracks previously buried deep within their vault, is an essential for your ears. The package bulges with blues and classic rock fuelled rock n roll, the band dipping into the past and soul of the genres with flavours from the likes of Free, Deep Purple, Bad Company, The Faces, Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin the catalyst for their own absorbing sounds.

The band was formed in 2007 by multi-instrumentalist T. Dallas Reed in Bremerton, Washington who upon leaving previous band Mos Generator and its different direction to what the band was set up upon, worked swiftly to set up Stone Axe to continue his hearts calling, Seventies rock preservation. Alongside Reed in the studio there is vocalist Dru Brinkerhoff and live the pair is aided by bassist Mike DuPont and drummer Mykey Haslip. Since forming the band has become an important part of the current rock scene for an ever rising fan base with their impressive live shows and their two albums, as well as splits and EPs which show so sigh of slowing, constantly grabbing eager acclaim, attention and enthusiasm. The nostalgic music influences strike a firm partnership with the band invention to offer a fresh and powerful mix that has a versatility and variety to satisfy persistently.

The first CD as mentioned is the complete ten track second album of the band, a release that with an enthused attitude, heart, and energy combines the flavours of blues rock, stoner, and seventies rock into a stirring and fresh homage come reinvention of classic rock without losing its passion and soul. With songs like the hit Chasing Dragons and the excellent Thin Lizzy spiced Those Were The Golden Years where Brinkerhoff sounds like the reincarnation of Phil Lynott through to the Free inspired Ain’t Gonna Miss It and the stunning Procul Harem tinged Turned To Stone, Stone Axe II is an essential release for all old classic rock favouring fans.

Very often these types of packages offer very little for the passionate fan that has much of the output of a band already, the release riding on the desire of the fan to simply want everything a band releases for their collection. With this special edition those who already have the second album are more than provided for with the second CD and the wealth of tracks within, though if a truly ardent fan you may still have everything already of course. The disc includes a cover of the Cream song SWLABR, an early version of Black Widow, as well as a thrilling live cut of Taking Me Home to name just a trio of the excellent tracks within. With the majority of the cuts now unavailable the CD alone makes the release a virtually new one for most and a very rewarding package with more than just something for every rock fan.

Stone Axe has taken classic rock forward without losing the essence and purpose they and the genre strive by. From the excellently crafted sounds and lyrics through to the perfect and impassioned delivery the band and this release sparks up all the senses and emotions easily and impressively. Many bands are trying to create music with a soul and breath seeded from the early fires of rock, Stone Axe just do it better than most.

RingMaster 05/03/2012

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