The Dynamites Burn It Down
Nashville retro-soul outfit The Dynamites and their 65-year-old frontman Charles Walker may not quite measure up to the high standard set by genre exemplars Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, but then again, who does? When The Dynamites follow The Dap-Kings’ lead and combine social commentary with horn-pumped funk on songs like “Somebody’s Got It Better,” and “Do The Right Thing,” the results are more than a little overbearing. But Walker has a likeably earthy, expressive voice, and The Dynamites are a tight, punchy combo capable of J.B.’s-level vamps like “Treadneck” and “The Third Degree,” marked by complex rhythms and quick changes. Oddly enough, the best songs on the band’s second album Burn It Down are laid-back, Love Boat-ready ballads like “If I Had Known” and “I Got Love (For You),” where the manic energy of the rest of the record gets channeled into hummable melodies and sweet sentiment. There’s nothing too old-fashioned about that.