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Music Review: Dynamite Club – Fusion Era

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So this is what insanity sounds like…

Formed in 2001, the aptly-named Dynamite Club features guitarist and vocalist Kentaro Saito from Tokyo, drummer and vocalist Mike Pride from Brooklyn, and current bassist (the band’s eighth!) Evan Lipson. This bi-continental trio has forged an identity through the fires of the New York and Tokyo scenes to come out as one of the most unique noise rock bands in recent memory.

Their latest release, Fusion Era, finds Dynamite Club launching into a preposterous 12-track set highlighted by abnormal flashes of funk, bursts of noise, SOAD-esque rock segments, and intervallic sections of puzzling exquisiteness.

Like most noise rock, it’s pretty senseless to divide it up into palatable segments. Fusion Era is not a record that is scanned or divvied up into tracks for analysis, although there are many great moments worth highlighting. As an album, it stands as a whole work of art. It may be a deafening, hectic, infuriating work of art, but Dynamite Club has created something special here.

All but two of Fusion Era’s tracks run under the two-minute-mark, with several running under a minute. Bleats of noise, strewn shards of rhythm, blasts of guitar, unstructured soloing, and warped bass suffuse each track with madness. Saito’s shouts, screams, wails, and affectionate anarchy bring the fucking house down.

For many people, Fusion Era simply won’t work. Noise rock is a risky genre. I happen to love it, but many of my friends simply can’t grasp what I find to be “beauty in chaos.”
Still, Dynamite Club is, at times, as undemanding as any other Japanese rock band.

Take the appropriate “Japanese Song” as an example. Saito begins singing over a standard J-pop set-up, but quickly loses the grain of the song and meanders off into a distorted blend of fuzz, wrecked instruments, and clattering percussion. Towards the end of the song, Saito and the rest of the Club picks up the beat again and tries to round the song out. It all sounds riotously like a bad television performance.

For the most part, however, Fusion Era finds Dynamite Club making lots of jubilant noise. Deconstruction works as a theme, as songs begin with eagerness but quickly overturn into psychosis (“Cow Fat”). Others take the noise and convert it to something funky (“www.porno.net”). And still others take a windy, haunting road to their final resting place (“Eye Like to Watch”).

Dynamite Club’s Fusion Era is an album that is as much about the deconstruction of sound as it is about the construction of noise. Songs bray and lament over hard guitars and fucked-up vocals, giving things an exasperating edge. Some, like me, will find beauty in the chaos. Others will simply sit, flabbergasted, and wait for the blasted exercise in “art” to be over and done with.

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About Jordan Richardson