SOPHISTICATED SLAVES - The Dynaminds (A Better Sleeve)
Real Rock and Roll is alive and well and living in relative obscurity in Europe. Happily, it seems. It doesn't matter who listens to the radio - that medium, for the most part, lost any semblance of intelligence (musically speaking) in the late '70s when centralised playlists and other economies of scale kicked in. The smart people are grabbing their Rock Action wherever they can find it and here's another example, all the way from Bitburg in Germany.

In the case of The Dynaminds, it's like a little bit of the Murder City was relocated to Deutschland, fed copious amounts of Pilsener and sausage and sent into the Black Forest to terrorise the populace. Thinking about it, inflicting the Flying Dutchman - aka Tony Slug of the Nitwitz and the Hydromatics - onto these guys as producer probably had the same effect. I'm sure the band must have developed thick hides by the end of the session 'cos the Slug is known to direct his stinging wit in the direction of most nationalities, but Germans especially.

Listen hard enough and you'll hear a neat slice of Sonic's Rendezvous Band's "Dangerous" riffage (also a signature song for the Hydros) in the guest Slug guitar on "By All Means", which is a stellar moment on a great album. You know what to expect but it's done extremely well. Sluggo's production is superb too, with guitars bristling away atop a mammoth-sounding bottom end. Dr Rock is the guy on four-strings and much kudos to him. Da Man can play and even leads the way on "Hazy Hands".

The Dynaminds namecheck SRB, the Five, Birdman, the Who and the Stooges in their bio and music. It doesn't take a genius to work out where they've applied those cues and you'll revel in Pick The Influence, if you're into that sort of thing.

It actually takes about 30 seconds for the goodness of this record to kick in. I'm talkin' 'bout the first song, "Riding High", where a bitching backbeat and barroom piano slide over the top of a big fat bottom end and Van Boogie's soulful vocal. Mix in those guitars, courtesy of Sgt Famous and Smokey Lonesome, and you've got yourself a pro forma for a rockin' great time. Comes to the second tune, "Love Affair", and you'd swear these guitarists had been taking lessons from Nick Royale, Dr Tek and Klondike (like that's a bad thing?)

"Bill Leavin" might be the centrepiece, with its tough, gritty feel and extended guitar call and response work-out.

The single "Dangerous Blue", was a tour de force with its chunky guitars and smooth organ trimmings and it's here for your digital enjoyment, sounding like a Hydromatics song.

There's a whole lot to like about The Dynaminds and if they recall a host of all-too-obvious influences, well that's fine 'cos you'll know what you're in for. Expect no fresh frontiers to be broken, but a flag is flown for the right sort of rock and roll. The album's even dedicated to Sonic Smith.

A no risk investment. – The Barman