Sad Night Dynamite

Sad Night Dynamite

by Ben Grott

Pulling from Kendrick Lamar, Portishead, and film scores, assigning Sad Night Dynamite to a genre is a Sisyphean task. The Glastonbury-born and bred duo’s self-titled release is not a mere sum of its influences, but more of a conglomeration of their product. Infusing their songs with elements of hip-hop, punk, electronic, and beyond, they must have been able to hear the sounds of the Park Stage at the Glastonbury music festival leaking in through their windows.

But have you heard of Gorillaz? They are an English alternative pop/rock/hip-hop group. The resemblance is more than uncanny. How uncanny you might ask? So uncanny that my roommate (who knows very little about Gorillaz and nothing about Sad Night Dynamite) asked me last night while Sad Night Dynamite was playing over the speakers: “is this the Gorillaz?”

A couple of the tracks sound like they come straight off of Plastic Beach. Most notably, “Skully;” its atmospheric vocals, twangy background reverberations, and familiar pacing sound undeniably similar. The second track on the mixtape, “Icy Violence” is very reminiscent of “Rhinestone Eyes.” Its plinking beat paired with a taste of the smooth autotune vocals reminds me of several tracks from Humanz. It wouldn’t be an unfair assessment to dub Sad Night Dynamite a Gorillaz copycat.

While the similarities to Gorillaz could result in a forgettable album, Sad Nights Dynamite’s saving grace is that their album is well executed. The hook on “Mountain Jack” is one of the catchiest I have heard in a while, and “Krunk,” with another twangy and groovy beat, acts as that defining “banger” track of the album. While lyricism is all over the place, they still offer enough interesting ideas that are intriguing as long as they aren’t taken too seriously. I give them credit for making their sound JUST unique enough. Their creativity will likely continue to translate to future success.