DESTROY DESTROY DYNO! An Early album review

First of all, let me get this off my chest: I love this band. Have done for over 2 years now. I am thus incredibly biased when it comes to Dyno. Because of this, I have desaturated such tendencies to rush right into their seductive parlor of pop wonderfulness & tried my best to be objective with regards their album. Its still not done so the tracklisting has the very possibility to change. Indeed, the end product might look utterly different to the set of songs I've reviewed below. I only managed to get hold of the tracks via a friend of a friend of a friend of a mysterious (probably very good looking) fairy. As such, when the album is complete it might look a tad different to its appearance today.

The problem with reviewing their material is they have the tendency to deliver everything you fucking want. So its incredibly to difficult to saynay, poopoo or critique them. Sitting down to their songs, just when your thinking "oh i think this song would be totally improved with an electronic synth breakdown ala ABBA" Dyno go and provide. Its freaky. Its like they read your minds. They refuse to provide filler. Annoying. As such, I refrain from restraining my hyperbole and superlatives. Sorry. Its their damn fault.

1. Burning Blood

Mash up every single amazing song by Duran Duran with every wonderful ABBA moment (especially their rockier moments like the zesty That's Me) and you've got Burning Blood. Its kinda about wanting to shag everything in sight. I think. This is an love song to promiscuity. As such I love it. You know how Madonna's middle eights are bloody amazing. This contains a middle eight classic Jellybean era Madonna woulda been proud of recording. The robust chorus is wrapped up like a pulsating christmas present with a vibrating synth which is the scandalous icing on the cake that is Burning Blood. Quite amazing.

2. Destroy Destroy!

If you bought the Killer's last album expecting another Human and were left a bit shortchanged, then Destroy Destroy kinda licks those wounds. This is royally majestic. The revolutionary lyrics are deconstructive in passion & spirit. I can see both Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky getting groovy to Destroy Destroy! Indeed, it is a powerful chant demanding the dismantling of the social heteronormative modes that control culture & discipline society. All backed by a fucking glorousily boppy pop melody that pays tribute to A-HA's Take On Me. Destroy Destroy is very much epic.

3. Roki Road

Though the title sounds a bit like a Ben n Jerry's flavour but don't let that dissuade you from this song. Alexander Javelin (the lead singer), approaches Roki Road in a softly softly manner perhaps luring the listener into the amazing ride that Dyno take you on. Alexander states we've got to focus on the reward exposing the meaning of the song: the journey. The road. Its a common thread among Swedish musicians embarking on their debut album (Robyn's Bumpy Ride for instance). Roki Road is a different kind of anthem to its predecessors. Its less bolshy but it starts to show-off Alexander's falsetto voice.

4. Man Down

This is the one song on the album that you couldn't see as a single but its probably the best song they've got to their belt. When I say epic I mean it. It is hyperbole. It is polemic. Dyno's Man Down is the very essence of greatness. Discussing the condition of certain men in society, Man Down soars into the sky of wonderment by the third chorus. Its not overlong or overworked. Coming in at four minutes or so the song sprouts golden wings by the third refrain, zooms past Icarus and presents its narrative about the fallen man. Its the type of dark blue ballad that Jake Shears and Baby Daddy of the Scissor Sisters would want on their wonderful Night Work. For some reason I can also envisage Freddie Mercury listening to this and smile. The song is drenched in greatness.

5. Emotional

How do you follow up the wave of energy that was Man Down? With Emotional. This is their first song of single for it was available on their EP Dig the DYNO! It sounds like a heady mixture of Don't Stop Believin' by Journey, Don't You Want Me by Human League and Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds. In fact, the work of Simple Minds and A-HA pretty much circulates throughout the work of Dyno. You can sort of dance to Emotional but be careful, there's an emerging sorrow in the lyrics that interweaves the zippy rock song into an anthem of regret. Which is odd. Why? Because it would seem this is a song regretting the fact the man is falling in love. This I love. So many songs about love celebrate this feat. Rarely do songs written about love hate the condition they find themselves in. Emotional is about that raw vulnerability. Its rare subject in pop. Making Emotional a real gem.

6. Above & Beyond

Thus we hit a coral reef. This song interrupts the volley of exuberant pop music in that it doesn't quite reach the glorious echelons of brilliance that the previous songs soared up to. Above & Beyond is a good song, don't get me wrong but as the band say's in the song itself "its more of an overflow". This song simply gets lost in the blaze of wonderful glory of the other family of songs on the album. Above & Beyond would be a strong song if it wasn't standing next to such strong competition.

7. Don't Speak Love (featuring Ania)

And we're back on form musically. Subject-wise, one might say DYNO are very comfortable singing about the rejection of certain social mores surrounding relationships and the difficulties of communication between two bodies. In many ways, Don't Speak Love is re-affirmation of the ground covered in Burning Blood and Too Close. Fans of fellow Swedish bands Oh Fibes and The Ark will connect with songs like Don't Speak Love.

8. A Trauma

This is as close to a dance song Dyno get. As such, this dalliance in splendid lite-electro-pop
is one of their strongest pop moments. If they wanted to they could drop Above & Beyond with another song like A Trauma. I am sure they could provide a nice chunky Giorgio Moroder influenced epic on the album. I'm sure Back to this song though. A Trauma is a queen of a song. Decked out in a crown of blippy electronic sound effects, evocative synths and dramatic chords that expose this monarch of a song is absolute and totally in charge of her empire.

9. Too Close

This is pure eighties. Dripped in synthy echoes of Berlin's Take My Breath Away and the finest moments of Pet Shop Boys, Too Close starts with the killer line "so it started out as a social study". I'd like more pop songs start this way. Too Close nearly suffers from being upstaged (like Above & Beyond) by other songs on the album that have their eyes set on immediately adopting the title of anthem. Too Close however plays it differently. Its a slow burn song. It creeps up on you. Its an incredibly addictive song. It sneaks into your brain when your picking up your milk, having sex and researching methodologies in the British Library. Its a brilliant closer to an album too.

In conclusion

This band deliver. Sometimes too much. Sometimes they ram it in so hard, one has to reach for the lube but in the rush you grab the chili sauce instead. As such, their album is consumed with the utter knowledge that too much of a good thing is dangerous. Nearly every song strives to be anthemic, epic or hyperbolic. Dyno give you everything you want and more. Sometimes more than you can take. But you grab that lubricant hoping for the best and think years of yoga will help you consume all of Dyno. And you do.

What I like about Dyno is that they're dedicated followers of bands like Simple Minds, A-HA, Cure and ABBA but like Alphabeat & Private they also produce a sound that is constitutionally themselves. They are not derivative of another act or genre. They are immensely and beautifully Dyno. As such, Dyno come in bucketloads. Thankfully. They've clearly been inspired and influenced by the greatest pop moments of the past twenty years but they know where to draw on others, built on those epic hits and yet provide big fat poppy sence of Dyno. Dyno are very amazing.


Fredrik said...

Very butch for you Robpop.

Poster Girl said...

Hmm...I was hoping for new songs, but then again, I shouldn't hold being generous early on in the campaign against them. Maybe they'll add on a few more before the album is finalized.

"Destroy! Destroy!" has that all-conquering vibe to it. I hope it lives up to that--how amazing would it be to hear that song everywhere? Then again, that's true for their work in general.

Fantastic review, with a lot of great references. For sure one of the best acts of the year.