By: Sarah Moore
The Dynamites' funk is so energizing it's almost exhausting. On their debut album, KABOOM! (Outta Sight Records), they explode onto the funk scene with chaotic licks and danceable rhythms. They have a retro sound complete with organ fillers and a horn section. Their frontman and singer, Charles Walker, even opened for legendary funk and soul performers (including James Brown and Etta James) at the famed Apollo Theater in the late '60s.
The leadoff track, "Intro (Body Snatcher)," blasts full steam ahead with the brass on-point and the drums lively. The instrumental piece is almost too fast as it gears up the listener for what's to come. Walker enters on the next song, "Own Thing," calling and grunting lines. His caramel vocals are smooth and rough in just the right places.
The Dynamites revitalize the funky sounds yet remain true to traditional standards. With titles like "Can You Feel It?" and "Killin' It," the album glosses over funk's signature appeal. Founder and guitarist Bill Elder (a.k.a. Leo Black) penned these tracks in his Nashville home over a two-year period, working clockwork precision into his pieces so "every instrument [has] its own space to do its thing." Also, for once in a funk outfit, the low end is not particularly emphasized.
"Come On In" embraces the Deep Funk movement as encapsulated by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. The gritty horns work against a soul-inspired guitar slot. The disc takes on a laidback groove for "Way Down South," a steady funk tune that involves syncopated notes and rhythms with reverberating Walker vocals. Not staying mellow for long, the album gets back up with the sweaty and edgy "Every Time." Equally at home as a house party soundtrack or club fare, KABOOM! puts the retro back in modern funk.
JamBase | Funkytown
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