Dirty Americans : Strange Generation
Formed from the ashes of the near-famous groove rockers The Workhorse Movement, this four-piece outfit are starting something of a retro-rock revival. This, their debut album, is a carefully constructed and faithfully rendered shrine to gods of rock 'n' roll past.
Hailing from the rock-rich plains of Detroit, lead vocalist Myron insists that the band are doing something very different from fellow Detroit acts like The White Stripes and Kid Rock, and whilst the garage revival movement may be driving new rock forward, the Dirty Americans' mission is to bring the past into the present. Taking an outrageously broad sweep of the best of three decades of rock, the Dirty Americans have greatly increased the scope of their audience, appealing to several generations of rock lovers without isolating the fans of any one genre.
Strange Generation is a fine collection of nostalgically riff-heavy, melodic and catchy tunes which are both tightly constructed and well produced. From the grungy stomp of Car Crash through the heavy guitars and harmonic chorus of Burn You Down to the folksy acoustics of Deep End, it becomes apparent that there are no really weak tracks here, and like their predecessors Led Zeppelin and Grand Funk Railroad, the Dirty Americans seem to believe firmly in the principles of album-rock, resisting the temptation to create one-off 'single-friendly' tracks for airplay, and putting their heart and soul into the entire album.
If there is a down side to Strange Generation, it's that the pervading feel-good, middle-of-the-road vibe means that overall the album can lack the kind of bite which has the power to sink it's teeth into the listener and leave a permanent mark. But that's a minor gripe over what is otherwise a major success story which will leave old school rock fans everywhere wanting more.
:: Tom West