Love Dream Truth Love
On this follow-up to their 2011 self-titled debut, this snappily dressed Ventura, CA foursome serves up another round of raucous, swampy country/blues-inspired rock. Though the group’s signature sound feels comfortably familiar on the surface, further listens reveal subtler, wider-ranging influences. Unusually, frontman Ian McFadyen wields an electric banjo as his primary instrument, going toe-to-toe with guitarist Whitey Wingland to produce thick, stinging leads. The driving Chuck Berry/Little Richard rhythms (fueled by bassist Michael Dominguez and drummer Chris Jensen) on opener “More Than You Can Handle” channel ‘50s/60s R&B, as do the Isley Brothers/Human Beinz “Nobody But Me”-isms on the chugging, harmonica-drenched “Get Wit it Now.”
Elsewhere, “For You” marries a Kinks “You Really Got Me” riff with McFadyen’s Iggy Pop-like, New Values-era vocalizing, while the title track’s low, rumbling bassline recalls The Damned’s “Neat Neat Neat” and “#1 Stunner” whips up some New York Dolls-inspired trashy glam. And on the aptly-titled “Nile River Delta Blues,” the band blends a muted, boomy tribal drum with the oft-pilfered Ali Baba/snake charmer melody from “The Streets of Cairo” (or, more familiarly, “King Tut” and Looney Tunes cartoons!), topping it off with McFadyen’s bluesy Little Walter-like drawl.
Finally, a few gentler, reflective tracks – each ruminating on love in both its positive and negative guises – bring to mind ‘70s folk. On the quick-fingered, banjo-strummed “Wishing Well,” McFadyen coolly evokes recently departed Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed, while on the closing “Love Is” he resembles Jim Croce, before the song morphs into squealy, psychedelic-tinged boogie rock. It’s easy to see why they were #1 on ReverbNation’s local Americana chart; 50 Sticks of Dynamite prove that when combined with gritty playing and songwriting flair, this ubiquitous style never grows old.
By Mark Suppanz - Big Take Over - NYC- bigtakeover.com
Nov 1st 2013
Love Dream Truth Love
One of the coolest things about Ventura’s music scene is that you really get to know the bands and the more you go out to support their shows, the more you get to know their original songs, so it’s always a treat when one of our local favorites comes out with a CD to enjoy on your own time.
I’m a huge 50 Sticks fan. But here’s the funny thing, there are a handful of instruments I can normally do without, such as the accordion or the bagpipe, and I used to add the banjo in there; I used to equate the banjo with the old school TV show, “Hee Haw”, but then I had seen a number of performances by Steve Martin which just floored me. So I’ve developed a respect for banjo playing over the years, and with a more open mind, I was primed to fully embrace the banjo when I first saw Ian playing it during an early 50 Sticks show back at J’s (now Peirano’s) in early 2011.
This ain’t no bluegrass band, and it ain’t no country jam band. This is straight-forward rock and roll. The band describes their sound as banjo driven roots rock & blues. Regardless, it’s the kind of music that inspires you to get off your ass and dance to their infectious tunes.
50 Sticks released their second album this year called, Love Dream Truth Love. I’m completely jazzed to include in my private
collection of local music songs like “Far Away,” “For You,” and the title track “Love Dream Truth Love."
“Far Away” reminds me of a classic movie or an old relationship which you can count on for getting much needed comfort. It just feels right; I love the line, ”Yes I’m gonna find you baby and make your untamed heart my own” in the song, “For You.” The tune seriously drives me to dance which is always a fun thing when you’re seat belted behind the wheel driving down the 101; The title track, “Love Dream Truth Love” is the quintessential rock anthem; and I love the harp on “What’s Next?”
The band is comprised of local musicians you’ve seen over the years in various projects. It’s extremely cool when you bring four guys together and it just clicks.
By Pam Baumgardner - Ventura Rocks - venturarock.com
Aug 1st, 2013"
Love Dream Truth Love
Love Dream Truth Love (a title reminiscent of Spinal Tap’s “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight”) is the second record by 50 Sticks of Dynamite, a band that has for the past three years taken its vision of folk bluegrass to new personal heights. The band — bassist Michael Dominguez, drummer Chris Jensen, singing electric banjoist Ian McFadyen and guitarist/harmonica player Mark Wingland — presents the tender and heartfelt “Far Away” alongside the loping, danceable title track. It’s a capably recorded clutch of songs that includes introspective breakup songs like the standout track “Wishing Well.” It is Americana at its most crystalline and convivial (because this music is meant for everyone). The closing track, “Love Is” (which I thought was about two naked 8-year-olds who are married) stands proudly as a meditative song of heartbreak and healing, life experiences that hit harder than any amount of TNT available.
David Cotner - VC Reporter - Aug 1st 2013
June 6th, 2013"
The second and latest album from 50 Sticks Of Dynamite is "Love Dream Truth Love" and it's a DIY, self-released
rock 'n' roll classic. Frontman Ian McFadyen plays an electric banjo, but the music is closer to Blue Cheer than the Kingston Trio.
This is first and foremost, a rock 'n' roll album - the initial cut, "More Than You Can Handle" should remove any doubt as it
erupts with speaker-threatening intensity. Plenty of hooks, searing solos and foot stomping fun that should have beer sales as
busy as all the feet within earshot. Support local music - like these explosive rockers."
Bill Locey - VC Star - June 6th 2013
June 25, 2013"
"The sound that 50 Sticks of Dynamite make on Love*Dream*Truth*Love is big….arena rock big. The basic guitar, bass, drums is given a roots link with the banjo. For its part, the banjo is electric and ready to claim its spot on stage with instruments known for their power. If sound were scent, the opening bass line for the song “Love Dream Truth Love” is made of pheromones. The drum and crunchy chords join to push the song along as Ian McFadyen waxes philosophical over a rhythm that takes no prisoners."
Danny McCloskey - The Alternate Root - June 25th 2013