Austin's Dynamite Boy has been doing the pop-punk thing long enough and well enough that even its hometown's über-hip mainstream press has started to concede that maybe, just maybe, the buzz that's been building for the past seven years is justified. The band just released Somewhere in America, its third full-length CD and second for punk stalwarts Fearless Records, and the reviews so far for this latest slice of catchy, straight-forward punk have flown in fast and friendly.

Maybe you've made up your mind this sort of thing isn't for you. Dynamite Boy and its ilk, you think, are for teenage girls and the pimply-faced geeks who love them. Well, okay -- make whatever you will of the band on record, but in a live setting, the gloves come off. In concert, Dynamite Boy is a streamlined, bare-knuckle, hard-rocking punk dynamo. Producer Cameron Webb (Danzig, Godsmack) was brought in to help the group delve deeper into this stage persona on Somewhere, and while one would never mistake Dynamite Boy for a hardcore outfit here, there is clearly a stress on the second half of the band's pop-punk description.

Dynamite Boy recently passed through Fitzgerald's as the opener for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones on the latter's Hometown Throwdown tour. But if you didn't get enough of them there, or want your first exposure in a more intimate setting, the Oven is the place to be. Think about it. The Oven is about double the size of a typical garage, and Dynamite Boy is arguably Texas's finest purveyor of the pop-punk craft. The group spends a hellacious amount of time on the road, usually much farther afield than Houston. So even if you do get another chance, it might not be anytime soon, and it damn sure will be in a much bigger room.

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Chris Smith