If you're wondering how a Fairfisa-and-fuzz garage combo hails from a place like Wigan in darkest north-western England, you're not alone. Madchester, these guys are not. The Shook Ups sound more authentic than most of the '60s punkers from whom they derive their influences. In this case, that's a distinct plus.
Singers who even vaguely sound like Robert Plant shit me to tears but a large length of slack can be cut for The Bloody Hollies. A swag of catchy, brittle-edged songs, aggressive, the-blues-do-the-pogo playing and a large serving of irreverence get these Greater New Yorkers (now San Diegans) over the line.
You think you know me? I pick up the CD. Dumb band name. Dumb pun band name. Is there anything worse? God, I hope they are not whacky – or worse; zany. Pun band names often lead to zany. The scourge of Rock and Roll. I could always save the next 40 minutes of my life and just throw the thing away unplayed. The Barman said I could do that. Let me take a closer look.
For those of you with attention span issues here's the short version: All killer and no filler. While "D.F.F.D." (Dictators Forever Forever Dictators) is a perfect album title, they could just as easily called the record "You’re Lucky". The new Dictators album is a phenomenal combination of craft, power, and presentation. It puts together everything that’s great about the first three Dictators albums and the Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom CD, which are all really different as far as I'm concerned.
It's rare that you find a disc with which you can't find even insubstantial fault. The Dictators, live and amped-up, are simply one of the best things on this musical planet. If you had to come up with something to balance the lavish praise we and fellow Tators fan-atics are spouting about this, it might be that the contemporary tunes on "Viva" manage to sound exactly like their studio cousins. And that's supposed to be a bad thing?
Okay. True story; this. I’m in Red Eye Records, Sydney, cruising the racks. Trying to find that new audio kick. I chance upon this item. Surely, I have every damn thing the Dictators ever released. What is this thing? A cursory glance at the back cover says it came out in 2008. I reach for my mobile phone and jump to the I-94 Bar for the good word and there isn’t one to be had. There is no frigging review. Clearly, I had better rectify this situation.
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