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The Generators
Tyranny
TKO Records


The Players:
Mike Snow Ė Guitar
Doosky Ė Guitar
Dirty Ernie Ė Drums
Noddie Osterberg Ė Bass
Doug Dagger Ė Vocals

Complaints Dept.: Ė Cocks out at the beginning, peters out at the end.

My wifeís engagement ring is a white gold filigree number from the forties. But it was brand new and virginal, having never been mounted. In retail they call it new old stock. This century has started out great for new old school punk. Fresh, excited and nubile bands are playing familiar styles of í77, í82 and streetpunk. In all fairness, The Generators members havenít been exactly chaste. Theyíve lived in sin with Schleprock, which flirted with becoming the next Rancid. But with this marriage, they are committed to a style associated with crudely photocopied cut and paste flyers. Doug Dagger has a very good voice and versatile sound, and the band makes some rough and tumble music. The lyrics arenít exactly prose, but they arenít crap either. And believe me, I know crap. The themes are solid and you will gladly sing along.

The crunchy garage style of "Down In The City" has a sixties Syndicate Of Sound flavor with British influenced trashy vocals. The stories of junkies and hookers are delivered with the attitude of Stiv Bators. Ernie goes on a real smash and grab spree with the cymbals as the guitar tries to work its way out of its ownerís hands. The welcome use of oft-neglected vocal techniques spice it up remarkably. "Murder" is a joyous punk romp in an Adicts vein. The "dames is trouble" message isnít a bit morose. Itís lighthearted revelry with fun harmonic camaraderie. The throaty vocals on "Keep On Runniní" actually remind me of Chambers Brothers minus the psychedelia and more garage. Itís got a great drive and an open highway to the border. High-octane "Hijacked" gives the low-down on the clueless kids deposited in Hollywood, They go face first, they live and learn. Watch those rich kids crash and burn. A big nod to Noddie for the bass. The trouble stirred up in "Summer Of Unrest" is recognizable frustration well portrayed. The guitar work is dramatic and radiating as Ernie parlays rounds of drum patter. Daggerís vocals relentlessly pummel from all sides. The political poison "Tyranny" doesnít present any new complaints, but addresses the ever-present corruption. Unless that gets fixed, itís a timeless statement. Daggerís syllables hang off the edge of the beat making the measures neatly off-kilter. "Dead At 16" is a full-volume anthem for the disaffected. When he fell out of the womb, no faith no future he was already ruined. The Generators give a taste of their ability and then purposely play just short of that. Even the intricate guitar-break has irresponsibly given up. Itís like that high-school dropout you used to know, messy and delinquent and completely cool. The siren guitars are also good. The sly "Rats" may be referring to Scabies, as itís steeped in The Damned. Even the progression takes a horror show step-down. The swaying rhythm section braces the song from behind. Then itís jerked forward by Daggerís projectile out-of-breath vocals.

The rest of the album quickly loses the excitement. Nice slurred vocals bring "Us Against Them" to a nostalgic street punk slow down. The traditional cops and yabbos song works, but isnít on par with the previous songs. "All Night Long" picks up a bit, but still a mid-ranger without much bite, although I like Daggers inflection on the chorus. Then a poppiness takes over the last two songs. Even the reverb on prom-punk "Suburban Bitch" canít make up for the light guitar tone that carries over to "Coming Down". The filler tunes they end with would fit in on "All Killer No Filler." Maybe I would feel better if they had been mixed in among the general population.

On the musical marriage scale, One being Chrissie Hynde & Ray Davies, and ten being Lou Reed & Laurie Anderson; I almost gave Tyranny a nine, Jim Reid & Hope Sandoval, but I have to be honest and give it an eight, Sid & Nancy.

ó Ewan Wadharmi

  1. Down In The City
  2. Murder
  3. Keep On Runniní
  4. Hijacked
  5. Summer Of Unrest
  6. Tyranny
  7. Dead At 16
  8. Rats
  9. Us Against Them
  10. All Night Long
  11. Suburban Bitch
  12. Coming Down

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Mike Doughty



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