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Johnny Dynamite offers insight on them “Triflin’ Kids”





Johnny Dynamite offers insight on them “Triflin’ Kids”

 Don’t let the name fool you. Johnny Dynamite and the Bloodsuckers sounds like it should be the name of a ‘50s tribute act that’d currently be touring the oldies circuit with Sha Na Na if not for deadly pathogens. But while their actual sound may diverge sharply from the Boomer generation, Mr. Dynamite does share a certain ethos with the early rock ‘n’ rollers in terms of emotive authenticity and sonic immediacy. He just happens to go heavier on the drum machines and the synthesizers than an old school piano pounder like Jerry Lee Lewis.

When he’s not busy hanging out with the Bloodsuckers, Johnny can be found pounding the non-digital skins for dynamite local bands like Whiner and Ashjesus or manning the boards on recordings by other artists. If you wanna know more check out this interview with Dynamite from shortly before everything went to sh*t conducted by Tom Gallo of Radio Free Brooklyn and Look At My Records! fame that focuses on the 2020 debut album Heartbroken.

So it’s just my own take of course but when I listen to Johnny Dynamite and the Bloodsuckers I hear traces of OMD’s groundbreaking electro artpop, the indie-defining delicate yet driving sound of Sarah Records, the wobbly synths and modern psychedelia of MGMT, and finally, the chilled out and washed out ambience of, umm, Washed Out—with said chillness represented lyrically in the refrain of “Touch Like This” (one of many highlights on Heartbroken) which asks repeatedly “Why are you lying on the floor?”

But yeah, the whole pop music lineage given above is just a way of saying that J. Dynamite has his own thing going on if it takes this many reference points to describe his sound, and that he simply makes good solid pop music whatever the chosen touchstones.

Like on “Triflin’ Kids” the new single that perfectly synthesizes (pun intended) what Johnny’s got going on—opening with a woozy call-and-response synth hook that slides straight into a breathy seduction-minded verse, and when that doesn’t seem to work, a more direct appeal in the chorus that strips away the gauzy disco rhythms and the narrator’s loverman facade. 

And therein lies the twist in which the song’s unabashedly needy narrator takes the “bedroom” in “bedroom pop” pretty literally or tries to anyway—which acts as a musical tribute of sorts (full circle) since triflin’ kids are at the heart and the soul of so much of the most impactful pop music from the past to the present and god bless ‘em for that.

Published: March 14, 2021 |

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