A story. When I was eighteen, some friends and I road tripped from snowy-ass Pennsylvania to even snowier-ass Boston, Massachusetts. We headed to the Middle East Club one night where we thought we were going to see the King of Surf Guitar, Dick Dale, burn it down, but it turned out we were a week early and instead, Roadsaw was setting up. I had the Nationwide record and considered it a happy accident. It was ’99, “stoner rock” bands were gaining ground in the mainstream, and Roadsaw, Boston’s “heaviest slab of rock,” was at the height of their powers. To witness them destroy a hometown show with some mates is one of my fondest memories. Fifteen years and one daughter later, this White Dynomite record slides across my digital desk and guess who’s in the band? Boston’s rocknroll elite…clad in white, polyester suits!
To me, supergroups are sort of like solo records. Sometimes they’re interesting (King Buzzo) and sometimes they’re lazy cash-grabs (Eddie Spaghetti). The actual idea is an amazing thought: bring in the best of your favourite bands and let them make a grand statement. The boys in White Dynomite feature members of Roadsaw, Lamont, and Wrecking Crew and they came to rock.
The record fires off with the self-titled jam, which lets the lead riff carry the entire song. Its fuzzy, simple stuff, with inane lyrics, but that’s what makes the great rock ‘n’ roll bands, great rock ‘n’ roll bands. Who’s ever wanted AC/DC’s lyrics to be deep and meaningful? No one, that’s not what anyone wants them to do and that’s not what we want White Dynomite to do. We want them to rock and the title track sets the tone.
Cuz I Said So could easily be an FM radio hit if FM radio wasn’t shit. A hyper-catchy riff and repeating vocals make it easy to sing along with after a half listen. Kitty Litter continues the trend of “action rock,” quoting a Gluecifer-style riff and tone. Black Light Woman keeps the seventies thrill ride going with some tasty wah-wah laced lead guitars and plodding, grooved-out pacing. High When I Die is a punk rock blast that’ll make you wonder how these forty-something dudes conjure the energy. Hard accents and a ripping guitar solo, this tune would sit well in any Zeke record.
Love Buffet shows a little song craft with another catchy riff and chorus, a bitchin’ guitar break complete with a quality riff and handclaps. Watery Grave starts with some gooey bass and slides into an interesting backing vocal hook. Another high point in the record, this tune shows that these guys know what they’re doing. A well-crafted song that is a respite from the unabashed rock ‘n’ roll, but is still unabashed rock ‘n’ roll. Make sense?
Overall, this record is a hoot and harkens back to the early ‘oughts when the Hellacopters, Turbonegro, Gluecifer, The Demons, and Deadbeats were all strutting around Scandinavia, copping the MC5 and Stooges, and rocking harder than anyone else on the planet. These dudes got together and made a loud, fun rock ‘n’ roll record. Fortunately for the fans, this album wasn’t a victim of overthinking anything or questioning instinct; the guys drank some booze, cranked up the amps, and churned out a killer retro-rock record.
What constitutes the “real deal” is something devout rock ‘n’ roll fans love to argue. While some fans pride lifestyle, others require song craft, and yet others want production and glitz. And then sometimes ya just put on a record and all sides say, “Yep, there it is.”
Scribed by: Drew Fulton