The Dynamo Theorem – Truth or Consequence, New Mexico EP

The Dynamo Theorem
Truth or Consequence, New Mexico EP

Though released only a few months ago, The Dynamo Theorem’s four-song freshman effort Truth or Consequence, New Mexico was actually recorded a good year and a half earlier in 2001, which certainly sparks a bit of wonder as to how representative of a record this actually is for the band. After all, a lot can change in a year and a half, particularly in the life of a young band such as TDT appear to have been when these songs were originally put to tape. Fortunately for them, if they were indeed as young a band as is being presumed here, the EP reveals the foursome to be budding with possibility, and perhaps even possessing enough talent to make those possibilities worthy of some note.
As musicians, they all appear to know their way around their instruments, and what’s perhaps more important is how stylistically they seem to feed off each other. Constantly hyper, and crowding the changes with enough notes to make Charlie Park twitch in his shallow grave, the drummer and guitarist attack their instruments without any regards to whatever the song may have had in mind. This is of course TDT’s charm as well as their downfall. As enthusiastic and impressive as three straight minutes of unrelenting drum fills and crystal meth guitar picking is, it tends to in the end only deafen one’s ear to anything profound or otherwise worthy of holding ones attention. At times they don’t even appear to have songs so much as they have ideas for songs that provide the necessary vehicle for their over-indulgent and slightly self-aggrandizing mode of playing. A little more attention on their songwriting and maybe a summer course entitled “Less is More” could really help this band get on the fast track to someplace distinguished. Still, this habit of “playing too much” is not at all an uncommon quality to find in a young band excited to be playing together and in the throws of an early creative spurt. With another year and a half under their belt, perhaps they’ve settled down enough to start applying their skills to making really good music, as opposed to simply putting them out on display.
TDT’s shining moment comes at the beginning of the second track, “Parade of Champions,” as they throw in an incredibly tinny trumpet melody over their only medium tempo section on the entire EP. Horns are used elsewhere on the record, which is an unexpected nice touch, though one that they are wise enough to use rather sparingly. Their Achilles heel may be the vocals. With a drony, somewhat monotone approach that’s oddly reminiscent of a young Layne Staley minus the evil growl and the stupid goatee, the singing leaves something to be desired. It’s not God-awful by any stretch, but the singer’s range is obviously limited and lacks something of a distinctive quality that a good band always has.