“You were not the fault line that I needed
I just want to feel ground beneath me, shaken”
The brilliance of Johnny Dynamite reverberates not just as the charismatic face of the act, but also as a wordsmith and crooner. His melancholic, angst-laden vocal prowess and poetic lyrics paint the portrait of a profound, introspective seer, bathed in the trailing luminescence of his musical world.
Much like The Drums, Johnny Dynamite and the Bloodsuckers bring forth an enchanting blend of synth and pop elements. Yet, while The Drums infuse their music with a distinct surf-rock aesthetic, Johnny Dynamite navigates towards a more post-punk, sculpting a sound that’s both vintage and contemporary. The parallels to Alex Cameron are evident in the thematic storytelling approach. Like Cameron, Johnny Dynamite’s lyrics unfold like a captivating novella, packed with a cast of colorful characters and intricate narratives. But while Cameron’s tales are often steeped in a satirical view of modern life, Johnny Dynamite leans towards more fantastical tales, imbued with a gritty noir edge. And finally, the comparison to The Cure is perhaps the most palpable. Both Johnny Dynamite and The Cure navigate through the dark, romantic waters of post-punk with their similar vocal allure and atmospheric synth soundscapes. However, while The Cure often dives deep into the depths of existential despair, Johnny Dynamite’s narratives offer a unique blend of darkness and whimsy, coupled with a satirical spin on classic storytelling tropes.
“Love In New Madrid,” the freshly released single from Johnny Dynamite’s much-anticipated album, The Tale of Tommy Gunn, presents a pivotal point for the album’s central character. The lyrical narrative, underscored by Dynamite’s emotive vocal cadence, paints a vivid portrait of a romantic dream turned sour; an awakening to life’s perilous diversions. As the track unfolds, Dynamite’s lyrical interplay evolves into a compelling anthem, gaining momentum as the protagonist’s revelation intensifies.
“Love in New Madrid” is about finding love in new places when you least expect it,” says Dynamite. “On Tommy’s journey to Nashville he meets Valentine, “a saintly wanderer”. In the song he compares finding love to the fault line of New Madrid that is beneath his feet. While enamored, Tommy is cautious and concerned that this new found love could become a natural disaster.”
The Tale of Tommy Gunn, out the 8th of September via Born Losers Records, artfully reinterprets the classic fantasy narrative with a satirical skew. This story unfolds from the somewhat cynical perspective of Tommy, a downtrodden New Yorker yearning for the idyllic success often promised to musicians in the hallowed music halls of Nashville, Tennessee.
Tommy sets off from the concrete jungle of the Big Apple to Nashville, crossing paths with the fateful character of Valentine along the way. Valentine, depicted as a divinely led drifter, decides to join Tommy on his journey, settling into a rented lakeside retreat on Nashville’s outskirts. The narrative takes an unexpected twist as a local recording studio presents Tommy with an enticing, but suspiciously lucrative deal to record his music. As Tommy grapples with the escalating debts, the truth begins to surface, exposing the studio as a smokescreen for a local gang’s money laundering scheme. The swelling financial strain ignites tension and jeopardizes Tommy’s bond with Valentine, culminating in her abrupt disappearance.
Confronted with her baffling absence, Tommy is left to grapple with the stark reality of his predicament. He is plagued by the unknown—wondering if Valentine has been ensnared in a dark plot, fled the spiralling turmoil, or tragically, met a sinister end. During this time, Tommy is sent into a paranoid frenzy taking on the role of a star-crossed lover, wishing to die by the hands of the gang. The end of the tale leaves Tommy shot on the ground, repeating the hook penned in his first song, “now you really want to get close to me.”
Johnny Dynamite serves as the creative doppelgänger of John Morisi, a synth-centric singer, songwriter, and producer. Morisi draws upon the artistic legacy of his grandfather, acclaimed comic book artist Pete Morisi, adopting the moniker of one of his most celebrated characters—a rogue detective from the city’s underbelly. This alter ego is a poignant reflection of his narrative approach, as depicted in The Tale of Tommy Gunn.
Emerging onto the music scene in the mid-2010s, Dynamite carved out his own distinct space within the bustling underground DIY music scene of New York, before ultimately finding his creative oasis amidst Brooklyn’s diverse cultural landscape after years on tour. His creativity is kindled within the secluded sanctuaries of bedroom studios dotted across the city, a space where he refines his self-recording prowess and jams with his band.
Johnny Dynamite and the Bloodsuckers will be on tour in Philly and NYC soon…mark your calendars! More to be announced.
- 7/28 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
- 9/8 – Brooklyn, NYC – Public Records *Record Release Show* w/ Korine
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