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March 6, 2006

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It’s a shame that those outside of the city of brotherly love don’t understand the impact Kid Dynamite had on today’s punk/hardcore music scene. While the genre as we know it today is filled with bands whose CDs we wish we could flush down the toilet, Kid Dynamite were pioneers of the genre. Their fast and aggressive style of music was mixed with catchy, sing-a-long vocals that really were built for a live setting. Having only been able to see the boys perform once during their existence from 1997 to 2000, I can honestly admit that it was one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever seen. Strong words for a glaring band.
For a band that featured former members of the legendary Lifetime, and now has members in quality acts Paint It Black, The Loved Ones and None More Black- Kid Dynamite were destined for something special and they delivered. It’s only fitting I guess that Jade Tree’s first ever DVD release features Kid Dynamite and their brilliant, but short career. Four Years in One Gulp captures the blue-collar character and paints the story of just who this genre-defining band were with live performance footage, life on the road, in the studio, and everywhere else in 90 minutes. It seems to breeze by but it manages to knock you on your ass, just like their music did.

The best aspect of this DVD would have to be the 20 live performances from day one to the end that are captured on film. The footage and sound quality isn’t top of the line and often times a tad grainy and hard to hear, but for this band, a group that called Philadelphia home and embraced the city and the music community, it’s almost fitting the recording isn’t polished and clean. A great piece of footage included is the reunion show bits and pieces we get to see from 2003. We also get a glimpse of how the band prepared for these shows, which is quite the treat. I only wish more footage was included here.

The DVD also does an excellent job of capturing the individual personalities of band members Dan Yemin, David Wagenschutz, Jay Shevchuk, Steve Ferrell and Michael Cotterman. As the DVD unfolds the story of the band, you also see how each member of the group worked in their own individual aspects. You also get a perspective of the band from their roadies and more importantly, their friends, who all add that element of an outside voice; it really helps tie everything together.

Four Years In One Gulp also includes some nifty extras like photo galleries and more general band commentary. The photos are definitely worth taking a peek at. I guess there could have been some more added here, but you can’t forget, this band was not together that long. I think that in itself shows the mark Kid Dynamite left on the music scene. A band that barely lasted four years has its own DVD. There is a reason for that, and the reason is that this band really did make an impact and now those who missed out on this band can understand and see for themselves why they did.

Sound the Sirens

David Walter