Davey Dynamite - Holy Shit Cass.


Good songwriters write lyrics that feel like they are talking about you (or at least talking to you). The best songwriters do both. On Holy Shit, Davey Dynamite shows a rare ability to write powerful and relatable songs that address the concerns and describe the experiences that we all have. Even more impressively, he does this in the form of tight and concise folk-punk songs that brim with intensity and passion.

Davey Dynamite (real name: Dave Anians) hails from Chicago and has been using the pseudonym since 2010. Initially, he started out with a simple acoustic guitar, acting as an acoustic troubadour in the mold of Frank Turner or Billy Bragg (artists who looked to explain the intricacies and complexities of the human condition in new and intriguing ways). It's something that he's endeavored to emulate. Dynamite was soon embraced by the thriving and passionate Chicago folk-punk scene, and he developed a regular following. Holy Shit is his first album to feature a full band on every song, and despite their simple beginnings, the songs here lend themselves readily to fuller, more fleshed out arrangements. It also means that the emotional weight of the lyrics is matched by the heft and intensity of the band behind them.

Opener “Holy Shit” starts with a simple muted guitar that backs Dynamite’s crisp, clear singing style. It's a style reminiscent of Conor Oberst in the way he blends clever, measured couplets together with ease. It’s a steady, unhurried opening until the crash and thud of the band kicks in. Like throwing a rock in a calm pond, he lets loose with barely restrained fury and spits out caustic lines as if they were toxic. It’s an aggressive, rebellious, and intense moment that is everything you could want from a punk album. The final line -- “And I / am figuring out / this holy hell / this holy shit” -- could apply to anyone. From teenagers to the elderly, it’s a universal truth, and its attitude echoes in the following song, “Rock and Roll”. Aside from being a stunning punk anthem, the track also acts as a call to arms for people to live in the moment and make everything they do matter in some way.

Dynamite isn't afraid to address bigger issues. However, he explores them in the context of the more personal, localized nuances of everyday life, rather than looking to provide broad, sweeping social commentaries. For example, “Man Enough” rallies against homophobia but still acknowledges that he has been guilty in letting homophobic comments slide. His inertia in these situations clearly rankles, which has led him to challenge his behavior, something that comes across as very genuine and, more importantly, inspiring. The song also contains one of the most powerful lyrics on the album -- “That every time a kid hears a synonym of gay / the barrel of a gun gets closer to a brain” -- which he delivers with poignant anguish. It’s an impressive feat for a song to make listeners feel equal parts anger, frustration, and shame (especially when roused in under three minutes).

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  • Artist: Davey Dynamite

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This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 02 December, 2017.

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