By Greg D'Avis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Damage Control, the first release from New York's Die 116, combined intricate guitar, solid rhythm Ä and dull, flat vocals. Now, after almost completely revamping their lineup, Die 116's second effort goes in completely new directions, veering away from the traditional New York hardcore toward a noisier sound Ä and, most of the time, it works.
Dyna-Cool features Gavin Van Vlack, the guitarist and the band's chief songwriter, and new second guitarist Eric Cooper sharing vocal duties, and the vocal problems of the first record go away Ä the vocals are no longer too flat or too dominant.
The main influence on Damage Control was Burn, Van Vlack's old band. For Dyna-Cool, the fellows seem to have broadened their influences Ä there's a good amount of influence from NYC noise like Helmet and Unsane. "Air Havana," arguably the best song, has piano-sounding bass and distorted vocals a la Ritual Device.
But one track is completely useless Ä "The Colossus of New York," a spoken word that is supposed to be funny (it isn't) and maybe carry some intellectual weight (it doesn't). But perhaps more finely honed minds will get something deep out of it, but for the non-pompous, it's just crap.
Worse, "The Colossus of New York" breaks up the flow of the album. The last few songs before it Ä "Crash Symbol," "Kill Me If I'm Wrong" and "Air Havana" Ä are the backbone of the album and build up quite a bit of momentum. "Colossus" negates that momentum, and afterwards, the fairly weak title track is just an anticlimax.
Regardless, Die 116 is now fully satisfying. While Damage Control showed potential, Dyna-Cool lives up to it.
Triple X Records
Here in 1995, where punk is hip again, every Rolling Stone or Spin writer worth his "old school" credentials is calling Green Day a Dickies rehash.
And what luck Ä the Dickies have a new album out, so everyone who wants to can check out Green Day's influences first hand.
Love 'em or hate 'em, one thing is undeniable Ä Green Day's songs are catchy. They lodge in the listener's head and just won't leave.
The music is just speedy punk, like the Dickies have been playing since the beginning of time, and the vocals sound like Geddy Lee. The overall effect seems like a punk soundtrack to a children's cartoon.
The lyrics are just brilliant Ä typical "aa, bb" rhyme schemes, and with song titles like "Toxic Avenger" and "I'm On Crack," listeners can rest assured that they're dealing with the height of punk intellect here.
If nothing else,Idjit Savant serves as proof positive that it's time for legislation banning any punk band from staying around for more than six or seven years. Judging by the mess this album is, the Dickies' well has really run dry.
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