Kidd Dynamo is an up and coming group from Belfast signed to a new label called No Dancing Records (I don’t know if it is chosen after the Smog song but it is a good name). Northern Ireland may have found an alternative to The Cranberries, Ash and Therapy?. The 7’ was released earlier this year while the ep has just been released in Great-Britain last week.
WORDS ABOUT TRENDS:
When every new band strives to sound rock’n’roll and acts as rebels (the grotesque The Libertines for example) to be into fashion, Kidd Dynamo delivers a fresh catchy power-pop reminiscent of the Brit-pop wave. Everyone has grown sick of Brit-pop because each time there is a new musical wave, countless new groups try to imitate the songs and sound of the leading bands and eventually end up being immaterial ‘glorified for a week’ epigones and they tire people out. That is what is currently happening with this rock’n’roll fashion (who will listen to The Libertines, Liars, Radio 4 and co in a few years?). In retrospect, Brit-pop was not that bad: all the bands were not Menswear, Shed Seven, Cast, Kula Shaker, The Longpigs and Ocean Colour Scene. Most of the good bands which were labelled Brit-pop started before the wave (Pulp, Lush, Blur, The Boo Radleys, The Stone Roses…) but it generated a few great albums (Oasis’s Definitely Maybe, Elastica, Sleeper, Bawl, Supergrass, and a few others).
Anyway, Kidd Dynamo seems to make a sort of Brit-pop revival on their own because of their smooth sound which may remind you of Sleeper’s The It Girl. The beginning of “New Space” evokes Lush, its verse has an attractive casual REM dimension while its catchy chorus might make you think of a less psyche Boo Radleys tune. However, if the sound is definitely English, the vocals sound much more American than English, which is uncommon for a British group. “What’s yours is never mind” is the same kind of song but closer to us bands such as Nada Surf or Harvey Danger than REM.
Kidd Dynamo’s last single ‘I Am a Landslide” is another catchy song alternating quiet passages with more agitated ones which sound like a sort of balanced Weezer (before the green album) in the guitar themes. The b-sides are acoustic tracks which reveal a more delicate facet. “Like the cars” apparently deals with growing up. “Time passes like the cars / go your own way now” softly sings the young man accompanied by bare and regular arpeggios. The slow-paced “Boy in the colourless suite” starts like a bittersweet Kristin Hersch song but when the male voice comes in, there is a languid sensation similar to some songs by The Red House Painters (which Kidd Dynamo is apparently fond of).
I’m not sure whether I would have appreciated Kidd Dynamo during the Brit-pop wave (although I liked power-pop groups such as The Warm Jets) but I like very much these few songs for two reasons: not only they are good and catchy but they go against the grain. This is a proof of idiosyncrasy. In ‘Only Angels Have Wings’, we don’t listen to music because it is fashionable but because it is good. Finally, I have associated them with Brit-pop because of the sound but the songs are largely greater than the average Brit-pop song.
/nov 15th 2002/