Dynamite Walls first crossed my radar in 2007, after the band, while on tour, unknowingly spent a night in a rented home that had once been the site of a mass murder. That same year they were picked by MTV2 as a “Band on the Rise.” They had just released their one (it remains their only, if exceptional) full-length CD, The Blinding Light Above.
“A band on the verge” is what I thought of them when I first wrote about Dynamite Walls in these pages in a music feature in that same year. Today, by all outward appearances, Dynamite Walls remains a band on the verge. Even after a development deal with Sony and a recent production assist on a new five-song demo by Paul Fox (of XTC and 10,000 Maniacs fame), the band is still label shopping.
Tom Pritchard fronts Dynamite Walls and writes most of their material. He says he grew up listening to surf rock and the blues, neither of which registers as an influence. More like Radiohead on a short leash, Pritchard’s songs burn with the kind of brokenhearted harmonies patented by Nashville a generation before he was born. He has mastered the art of stitching raw emotions to power chords, and why DW is not the next Maroon 5 is a mystery to me.
“It goes from a lot of talk to a lot of nothing in this business,” Pritchard says on the phone from his Encinitas home. He should know. The Sony deal fell through suddenly when the West Coast staff, he says, was fired. Dynamite Walls has since performed music-industry showcases where they have generated buzz, interest, and promises. He describes dealing with labels as “putting everything on hold.” Pritchard adds, “At some point you have to break, or else you’re just sitting around. We’re busy, busier than people know.”
DYNAMITE WALLS: The Casbah, Saturday, April 25, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $8.