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ISSUE 118 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/22/2004

So Many stellar Constellations

By Peter Farrell
Contributing Writer


Friday, October 22, 2004

The privileged few who ventured to the Lions Pause last Saturday bore witness to two tremendous musical performances. The Plastic Constellations and So Many Dynamos, two Midwestern bands with an underground style, played their dynamic brand of danceable post-punk to a small, captivated crowd.

Openers So Many Dynamos, an indie-rock outfit hailing from St. Louis, Mo., took the stage around 8 p.m. in front of less than 30 students and spectators. Hardly concerned with the less-than-stellar turnout, So Many Dynamos played a fearsome set that reinforced what many had anticipated after the release of their first full length record, When I Explode, this past year: This band knows how to rock.

Influenced, but clearly not defined by, the disco-punk craze and 80s revival currently dominating the alternative music scene, So Many Dynamos mix tight, syncopated guitar riffs with keyboard sounds that range from bass-heavy moog to midrange chaos.

Anchoring the band is vocalist Aaron Stovall, who exudes an odd, yet compelling charisma that emerges from behind a thick mess of hair and a two-story keyboard tower.

While still developing a sound of their own and shedding the skin of some of their still-obvious influences, So Many Dynamos proved that they are without a doubt a band to watch in the years to come.

Following a brief intermission, some of Minneapolis finest punk-hop rockers, The Plastic Constellations  often referred to by their fans as TPC  stormed the stage with a heavy blast of distortion and tore into the scorching, We Came to Play.

One of the flagship groups of the fledging Minneapolis independent label 2024 Records, the band played a set that drew most of its material from their sophomore effort Mazatlan, a record that reaffirmed the bands position in the upper echelons of Minneapolis rock.

The Plastic Constellations played with an ease and grace that can only develop in bands that are composed of truly good friends. Most importantly, however, is that unlike many bands that have achieved local prominence, TPC has not lost sight of the fact that the finest rock music is also fun music.

Lead singer Aaron Maders pounded his feet on the ground with striking conviction, while guitarist Jeff Allen unleashed a flurry of facial expressions that mimicked youthful irreverence. Bassist Jordan Roske poked and prodded around the stage with his head in perpetual bob. Meanwhile, drummer Matt Scharenbroich acted as the anchor of a band whose kinetic energy threatens to explode at any moment. The joy emitted by the band is awesomely infectious.

That infectious joy was evident throughout Satuday evenings concert; the band threw out a few unexpected, older tunes from 2000s Lets War while simultaneously promoting newer tracks from Mazatlan. Davico, Beats Like You Stole Something and Evil Groove all stood out as faithful yet considerably amplified reproductions of now classic studio tracks.

Already hard at work on a follow-up to Mazatlan, the band debuted two never-before-heard tracks. While both tracks were similar in feel and sound to those on Mazatlan, the new songs nevertheless showed impressive potential and some compelling stylistic variance. One track was even built around a funky blues-punk riff that would make blues singer Jon Spencer jealous.





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