J-Bo Dynamite

Live Performance

Nominated for Electronica Artist of the Year –  13th Annual LA Music Awards

Drummer For Powder

The term “keepin’ it real” gets tossed around a lot in the hip-hop world, but that concept is also alive and well in alternative rock — from Creed to Green Day to Alanis Morissette, so many alterna-rock lyrics of the ’90s and 2000s are reality-oriented rather than fantasy-oriented. And that is a big departure from the ’70s and ’80s, when countless rockers projected larger-than-life images and offered glamour, fantasy, and straight-up escapism. Nonetheless, there are certain alterna-rockers who bring the element of fantasy to the table; Marilyn Manson and Garbage’s Shirley Manson certainly don’t come across as the average, everyday kids down the block. Nor do the members of Powder, whose superb debut album, Sonic Machine, brings a healthy dose of outlandish fun to alternative pop/rock. This 2002 release is a welcome return to theatrical rock; those who long for the sort of theatricality that the Tubes, Alice Cooper, the Plasmatics, David Bowie, and Kiss offered back in the day will appreciate lead singer Ninette Terhart’s colorful, over-the-top sex appeal. But Powder doesn’t sound like a ’70s or ’80s band. Their hard and aggressive yet melodic and poppy sound — arguably a combination of Garbage, Veruca Salt, and Republica — is firmly planted in post-’80s alternative rock. Thankfully, this Los Angeles band has a lot more going for it than a cool image, and Terhart is smart enough to realize that sex appeal alone does not make for great rock; she’s a playful yet convincing vocalist who has no problem bringing Powder’s infectious, hook-filled songs to life. Nor is the musicianship of guitarist Phil X, bassist Allan Hearn, and drummer J-Bo Dynamite anything to complain about; none of them are lacking in the chops department. From vocals, musicianship, and songwriting to entertainment value, Sonic Machine is a highly promising debut.