Dynamite Walls at Kobo
The package matters in music more often than we want to admit. A great hook will get stuck in your head no matter what, but your decision to embrace it or bemoan it might hinge on whether the tones, textures and tempos land the song in your stylistic wheelhouse - or whether the artist in question has been spoon-fed to you by your tastemaker of choice.
Take San Diego power-pop combo Dynamite Walls. At their core, these could be Big Star songs, melancholy yet melodious nuggets spiked with punchy pop energy. But they're recorded with enough studio gloss and post-emo vocal affectation to render them a closer relation to mall punk bands like The All-American Rejects.
Or take "Kiss and Ride," which spends its first verse teetering on the verge between Spoon and John Mayer before the chorus tumbles back into the Top 40 safe zone. Such aesthetic choices may win Dynamite Walls one crowd and cost them another - namely the regulars at Kobo, where they'll headline next Thursday - no matter how many Broken Social Scene references they toss in their lyrics.
Furthermore, they may be no match for openers Ghost Shirt, who stepped up their game big time with fast-gestating sophomore offering "Daniel," out last month via Bandcamp.
9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16
2590 N. High St., Campus