Rough Tough Dynamite
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Rough Tough Dynamite

Band Alternative Pop




"Rough Tough Dynamite - End of the World EP"

Every now and then I tell someone that I’m looking for new bands to listen to and every now and then somebody actually remembers this and sends me an avalanche of audio joy. In this case, it was Robbie Pfeffer of Playboy Manbaby who sent me a literal cavalcade of brilliance. Honestly, I can’t wait to see Rough Tough Dynamite live-keeping time with DEVO, making time with Television and simply employing all the influences they’ve picked up by listening to all the right late punk and new wave albums out there. I would suggest that Rough Tough Dynamite play with the aforementioned Playboy Manbaby and Doctor Bones as soon as humanly possible.

“Speaking Tongues” leads off the five song End of the World EP, a smartly timed, two-and-a-half minute indie rock surf single, sounding like Chris Stamey singing lead for The Pixies. The new wave homage is clear on “Drive Thru Damsel,” catchy breaks, Gang of Four guitar and a head-bopping chorus. “Ghost” digs into Americana. Think of the territory where REM and the Feelies once dwelled early on.

On “Diamonds” the synth takes a role right up front, with brilliant effect, in tandem with the bass. The tale is told of a failing relationship. “She was more than she meant to be, I could see her tears falling down like diamonds and I could see her dreams slipping too.” The five-minute finale of “Waves” makes it clear that Rough Tough Dynamite has indie surf sound down to perfection. Half way through, the song takes a completely different turn in a cool acoustic break with a simple refrain, “Don’t let the waves push you down” - before exploding back to the beginning for the last minute. This is one of the most refreshing releases of the year and definitely one of my favorite EPs to come out so far. - Java Magazine

"Rough Tough Dynamite Release ‘Drive-Thru Damsel’ Music Video"

It’s not often that zombie attacks are caught on camera or zombie attackees live to tell their tales. But then there is Rough Tough Dynamite, a four-piece band from Tempe that put their pop powers to work when they escaped flesh-hungry zombies who tracked them down in an abandoned warehouse in Mesa.
Well, at least that’s what the band’s new music video for “Drive-Thru Damsel” portrays. The track is on RTD’s debut EP End of the World, which was released in May and is available on Bandcamp for free download.
At the end of the video, viewers might be wondering: Do zombies have a taste for surf, power pop? Where did the snare-taming guy go? Are orange slurpees the new water? What else happens at the end of the world? All questions that may be answered in the two forthcoming parts of the music video series.

Tell us a little about your End of the World EP…
Well, we had been playing shows for a year or two, honing in a handful of songs. So we ventured off to California for a little road trip and came back with five songs recorded. We had a ton of fun recording, it was a really positive, creative process. We did it at Sound Matrix Studios in LA. The process was so fun and fluid with those guys. We even wrote the little acoustic interlude in the final song, “Waves,” while we were hanging out on the beach the night before we recorded it. Super last minute, but it really reflects the good vibes we were feeling during the whole process! Countless bags of dried mangos were munched upon during our studio time; we should have given them credit as fuel in the liner notes. We couldn’t have done it without those delicious dried mangoes.
Our friend Carrie Hobson, a character designer for Disney, drew us fighting bad guys for the cover of the EP, and all the rest of the art was a group effort between all of us. And we had 15-20 of our good friends come out and and chase us as zombies for the music video. Our band really thrives on having really talented, awesome friends to collaborate with. Everyone is so cool!
What’s the best defense against zombies?
Initially I’d have to be cliché and say something like THE POWER OF LOVE or ROCK AND ROLL, but through our analysis of playing many, many zombie video games, the shotgun is the tried and true classic. That, and a good baseball bat. Both give that super satisfying CRUNCH of a zombie skull being totally smooshed.
I’d also like to think that a can or two of AXE sprayed on your clothing could really act as a forcefield or zombie repellent. When overused in mass quantities, that stuff is TOXIC. Worse than tear gas.
You guys solve “the greatest mysteries of the downtown Phoenix area,” but how do you do it? Orange slurpees?
We use our iPhones a lot. Those things are great! Think about it — Scooby and the gang could have utilized the maps, Siri‘s knowledge, the fancy camera, group text messaging…it would have totally cut the length of each episode in half, they’d just be so efficient with those mysteries. Old Man Jenkins would be totally screwed in record time.
But when our iPhone batteries die, usually a good method is to just start making really loud, strange noises for long periods of time while undressing. Usually whoever is behind the scheme gets so uncomfortable they will confess, just to make us stop. Works like a charm.
In one word, your new EP End of the World is…SCRUMPTIOUS!
In one word, “Drive Thru Damsel” is…SASSY!
In one word, Rough Tough Dynamite is…SWEATY. - The Spec

"Danger Paul's Music Video Pick of the Week"

Rough Tough Dynamite is, simply stated, one of my new favorite bands in Phoenix. First of all they have a great, catchy nouveau new wave sound, with enough punk sensibility that nearly everything they do is just fun to listen to—this accounts for every song on their debut EP, End Of The World. I cannot wait to see these guys live, because I have a feeling it’s going to be a great high energy show that will not disappoint. There is something about the terrific power pop vocals, backed by angular Gang Of Four guitars and Devo beats that all comes together—that evokes all the best of new wave and early alternative sounds as it does authentic surf music from the 60s. It’s difficult to place, but it’s a great place for your ears to find, a great place for your head to find its space. Point blank, this is catchy shit and I haven’t heard anything with as much edge and pop aesthetic since the Descendents were at their peak.

In addition to having a great knack for power-pop presentation and surf-punk riffs, apparently Rough Tough Dynamite also have a sheer knack for entertainment. There new video for “Drive Thru Damsel” is as amusing as it is well done. I immediately thought of their Facebook description I read over a month ago: “Now, this rag-tag band of brothers solves the greatest mysteries of the DOWNTOWN PHOENIX AREA armed only with guitars, flashlights and a SCION. With the support of COMMISSIONER JRC on their side, no SUPERNATURAL CREATURE will be left UNSLAPPED!” Somehow, I really like the idea of a band that also spends their time fighting crime and solving mysteries, but that must be all the cartoons I watched while growing up.

That in mind, the video for “Drive Thru Damsel” is exactly that—the band fighting an onslaught of zombies, perhaps people just out of their mind on bath salts, but zombies nonetheless. Shot like a B-movie, this is an A+ video, that plays out like an old horror serial, with a cliff hanger conclusion that will perhaps lead to the next video from the EP or not. Either way this is three minutes of pure classic fun from a band that apparently knows how to deliver it in all of its realms. Check it out and at the end you can catch another video about the making of the video, just for kicks. Be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for Rough Tough Dynamite and hope that they will be fighting crime and solving mysteries at a venue near you very soon. In the meantime, enjoy the rollicking delight that is “Drive Thru Damsel.” - Echo Cloud

"Local band works around schedule to bring music to the Valley"

Working day jobs can be long and, as Ahwatukee Foothills resident Alex Clauss admits, a little boring at times. But he funnels that boredom into an outlet he shares with three friends. Together they are a band, Rough Tough Dynamite, the music of which could be described any numbers of ways, including “pop, or rock ‘n’ roll, or belly button two-step,” Clauss said.
The band, made up of Alex Benson who does the vocals and synthesis, Corey Dillier on bass, Justin Humbert on guitar, and Clauss on drums, met through work and over time developed their music and wrote songs that recently translated into the release of their album, “End of the World EP.”
“We started writing stuff together and decided to team up as a band,” Benson said in an email. “It took us a while to evolve and get comfy in how we sound, and to grow facial hair, but we’re in a happy, hairy place now.”
“End of the World EP” is available to download for free through their website,, or a hard copy can be purchased for $5.

Working around everyone’s schedules can be difficult at times, Clauss said, but when they do find time to get together and practice or play a show around the Valley, they make it count.

“Our day jobs make us bored enough to get really stoked and spaz out on a new song or bust out the confetti cannons, he said. “Boring day jobs totally fuel really awesome things.”

To find out more about the band, visit On there you can also find the music video for their song “Drive Through Damsel,” a high-quality production set in an abandoned Mesa warehouse with the members of the band running from zombies. - Ahwatukee Foothills

"Rough Tough Dynamite's 'End of the World' is a rockin' good time"

It’s easy to forget how varied the local music scene is. It’s also easy to underestimate new bands. This is why it’s so exciting to see new local bands shake things up with a great attitude.

Just by listening to Rough Tough Dynamite you get the sense they are fun dudes. Their music is hilarious and carefree, which is something that seems to be lost in much of today’s music.

Their EP End of the World is a freaking blast. I dare you to try and find something pretentious or cynical in this band. Rough Tough Dynamite’s silly power-pop falls somewhere between Reggie and the Full Effect and Wavves.

“Speaking Tongues” starts the EP on a ridiculously high note. Quirky lyrics and rumbling drums create a perfectly catchy tune. “Drive-Thru Damsel” makes you wish you were at a rocking house party. It’s a fun, upbeat song that craves audience participation with a side of fries. “Waves” is a bit of a surf-rock tune with plenty of synth goodness. It’s always refreshing to see synthesizers have well-balanced solos. You simply don’t get enough of those these days.

The five tracks on End of the World whip by so quickly you’ll have it on repeat. End of the World is available for free online. And, make sure to catch them live when you can. - College Times


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...