Album Reviews

Dirty Americans – Strange Generation

(Roadrunner) UK release date: 15 March 2004

Dirty Americans - Strange Generation Having recruited a new tub-thumper, three former members of metallers The Workhorse Movement have burst out of Detroit with all guns blazing, having crafted 13 catchy tunes that ooze psychedelic ’70s groove.

Although the intro to opener No Rest sounds distinctly like a Datsuns / Jet hybrid, for the rest of their baker’s dozen, these Dirty Americans sound unbelievably different to the plethora of retro-revival bands currently tussling for exposure in the NME.

Sure, there are influences a-plenty rangingfrom some very Dave Wyndorf-y vocals to straight up Led Zeppelin riffs on some of the grooves, but just when you think you’ve got them pinned they flip you something unexpected. Whilst not they have not redefined rock or pushed the barrier of creative genius, they have written some ruddy good songs.

There are pumping drum tracks, and riffs that would eat Busted for breakfast, but the real question is are the unwashed yanks anything to shout about, or have they merely found a way to rip off their favourite bands and get paid in the process?

Well on their behalf, I shall scream, yell, and generally make a fuss in an agitated fashion; for the Dirty Americans are a breath of fresh air to a rock scene that struggles with a severe identity crisis, not to mention the absurd lack of control. In a genre which allows more than five people to take the poodle-permed disaster that is Nickleback seriously, whilst letting The Strokes release the same song again and again and again, the arrival of a credible, straight up truly classic rock band is so much more than refreshing – it’s like a newborn’s first gasping breath after release from gestation.

The stoner influences ring out on most tracks, with the brilliant Time In Space forcing me to check if Monster Magnet‘s Mr Wyndorf himself was guesting on vocals and Way toGo owing its existence to modern era Queens Of The Stone Age. Meanwhile, Burn You Down simply has to be a Fu Manchu B-side, with The Doors making a cameo appearance for the chorus. Harking back to amore classic era, title track and lead single Strange Generation is The Who for the 21st Century, and Deep End the obvious ballad follow-up.

Over all this is the perfect album to remind you that winter’s over, summer’s comin’, and that ultimately life ain’t all bad, which is nice to hear from musicians who’ve toured with Slipknot amongst others.

So, if you’re one of the many London Underground commuters who need a smile on those wet April mornings, (and you ain’t gonna get it listening to Travis!), you could do a lot worse than the feel good grooves of Dirty Americans; in fact, I defy you to find a better aural “pick-me-up” this side of 1969.

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Dirty Americans – Strange Generation