posted on 3/2005 By:
My gripes with Dirty Americans’ Strange Generation have far less to do with the music it contains than the way it is presented. It’s a decent enough album, but it in no way is this the dirty, retro rock reclamation that they would have you believe. The band may have chosen their name to reflect their aim to play good old dirty American rock and roll, but Strange Generation, although sometimes raucous, is wholly covered in a glossy sheen. Likewise, you can’t throw a rock these days without hitting a retro rock band, so if the soul of rock and roll needed an old school reviving, surely it has been resuscitated by scores of other bands like The White Stripes, The Hives, Kings of Leon and Jet.
Alright, so now that you know you’re being served Jim Beam and Coke rather than Early Times in a mason jar, let’s talk about what Strange Generation has to offer. Dirty Americans have wisely chosen to incorporate an eclectic variety of different styles and periods into their sound, rather than finding one basic retro style and sticking to it religiously. How eclectic are they? The riffs on “Burn You Down” are reminiscent of a cross between Black Sabbath’s “Hard Life to Love” and Lenny Kravitz’ “Are You Gonna Go My Way”, and the chorus sounds like a collaboration between Blue Oyster Cult and Monster Magnet. The band usually concentrates on presenting ‘70s rock with a contemporary style to create brash, good time rockers like “No Rest” and “Car Crash”. The raucous “Strange Generation” will have you turning up the volume and nodding your head in appreciation along with the cowbell. At other moments (“Dead Man”, “Way to Go”) Dirty Americans have a somewhat more contemporary Queens of the Stone Age/Monster Magnet feel. “Deep End” features a palpable Led Zeppelin influence, and is just one track of many featuring great guitar work from Jeff Piper. While this everything but the kitchen sink style of rock and roll usually serves the band well, it does leave the album feeling a touch unfocused. In a few places the band reverts to rather mundane alternative rock, but those moments are far between.
Next time around, I’d like to hear the band (and producer) do more to live up to their moniker by knocking off a bit of the polish. Still, Dirty Americans is a solid and vibrant good time band that would probably be a lot of fun live, and Strange Generation is a decent enough debut.
Register to post comments.