Album Reviews

Dirty Americans – Strange Generation

(Tom Day) UK release date: 15 March 2004

Having recruited a new tub-thumper, three formermembers of metallers The Workhorse Movement have burst out ofDetroit with all guns blazing, having crafted 13catchy tunes that ooze psychedelic ’70s groove.

Although the intro to opener No Rest soundsdistinctly like a Datsuns / Jethybrid, for the rest of their baker’s dozen, these DirtyAmericans sound unbelievably different to the plethoraof retro-revival bands currently tussling for exposurein 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 justwhen you think you’ve got them pinned they flip yousomething unexpected. Whilst not they have notredefined rock or pushed the barrier of creativegenius, they have written some ruddy good songs.

There are pumping drum tracks, and riffs thatwould eat Busted for breakfast, but the realquestion is are the unwashed yanks anything to shoutabout, or have they merely found an way to rip-offtheir favourite bands and get paid in the process?

Well on their behalf, I shall scream, yell, andgenerally make a fuss in an agitated fashion; for theDirty Americans are a breath of fresh air to a rockscene that struggles with a severe identity crisis,not to mention the absurd lack of control. In a genrewhich allows more than five people to take thepoodle-permed disaster that is Nicklebackseriously, whilst letting The Strokes releasethe same song again and again and again, the arrivalof a credible, straight up truly classic rock band isso much more than refreshing – it’s like a newborn’sfirst gasping breath after release from gestation.

The stoner influences ring out on most tracks,with the brilliant Time In Space forcing me to checkif 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 acameo appearance for the chorus. Harking back to amore classic era, title track and lead single StrangeGeneration is The Who for the 21st Century,and Deep End the obvious ballad follow-up.

Over all this is the perfect album to remind youthat winter’s over, summer’s comin’, and thatultimately life ain’t all bad, which is nice to hearfrom musicians who’ve toured with Slipknot amongstothers.

So, if you’re one of the many London Underground commuterswho 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 feelgood grooves of Dirty Americans; in fact, I defy youto find a better aural “pick-me-up” this side of 1969.

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Dirty Americans – Strange Generation