Sound: The first two things that came to head while listening to the album were "Detroit Rock City" movie and "Velvet Revolver." Even though it's the band's first album, these guys are already predicted to be the next in a row after The White Stripes and Kid Rock. This crazy band, that seems to come here right from the '70s, plan to put the Rock City back on the map of gritty, ballsy rock-n-roll history and give rock and roll a solid kick to the posterior. And though the guys don't have that great musical background, they have more potential, then Velvet Revolver and have everything not to repeat their destiny of disappearing after the first album.
The story starts in January 2001 when the band Working Horse broke up and it's former members Myron (vocals), Jeff Piper (guitars) and Pete Bever's (bass) started to look for a new drummer. Piper put an ad on a Detroit website that said "Drummer needed, big sound, no metal, someone to equal out this bizarre equation." Within a few minutes a missing member was found. Aspiring rock drummer Jeremiah Pilbeam fit the band so perfectly, that Myron, Bever and Piper realized on their first rehearsal they found a missing puzzle piece. The band's name was also defined there and by a newcomer ? when Pilbeam was asked what kind of band he wanted to play in, his reply was "Just some dirty American rock band." As simple as that. In summer 2002 the band met with producer Paul Ebersold, who worked with bands like 3 Doors Down and Saliva and in early 2003 they started working on Strange Generation to release on March 2004 in Europe and March 2005 in the USA.
Their music is straight ahead no frills bullshit, rock 'n' roll played at maximum volume. A "straight up vintage rock" as they call it themselves. That is nothing revolutionary new about the music, just a very well done rock -- with pretensions and no acknowledgement of any musical developments after 1980. Songs are in plain standard verse / chorus / solo / verse format and the majority of the main riffs in the songs are quite catchy, which makes it easy to get into this CD. The guitar work dominates the instrumentation and the straightforward solos provide necessary breaks to the rollicking toe-tappin' pace set by a tight rhythm section. Pilbeam is not only an absolutely-adorable-looking guy, but he also does a very good job playing drums with a pulsing backbeat courtesy. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics accomplish the style these guys have -- rather straightforward, as all music in general, and in some cases -- like on the title track - a few simple lines are repeated over and over, filling the gaps between the rhythm and the solos. The songs are about love, pain, relationship ?- everything that is directed to the musicians' live. "Car Crash" is the song that their girlfriends should sing "Your love is like a car crash/You leave me bloody and take all my money" ?- that describes their way of living ? being in a band, always on a run with no steady job and chaotic life. They realize that they're putting their women through hell and this song is some kind of an apology to them.
I can't say that Myron have some kind of unique vocal, he sounds more like any other rock-band vocalist and, making any comparison, it would be Lenny Kravitz (which is not bad at all!) // 8
Overall Impression: The CD is solid all way through all the more impressive that it's a debut album and the band already sounds like seasoned professional songwriters. In the album Dirty Americans wisely put a little bit of everything, choosing different styles and periods that vary song to song, which make this CD be one of those rare albums that are listenable the whole way. There are no tracks to be skipped. The 13 songs last 49 minutes and run 3 to 4 radio-friendly minutes. With an open track "No Rest" the album immediately kicks into high gear and slows down only to easygoing "Give It Up." "Car Crash" is an infectious, fun tune, with Myron singing about the downside of love. "Strange Generation", the title track, coupled with a pop-fused chorus, hits a solid groove that never go out of fashion in good rock-n-roll. "Dead Man" is the standout track on this record, with far more structure than the other songs, interesting dual guitar interchange and backing vocals. The way it was written probably made the sound. The guys say this song took some extra effort -? they were trying to figure out the way the vocals should sound for a week. Then suddenly they found an inspiration watching TV news about the invading to Iraq and finished the whole thing for 10 minutes.
It's not about the music they play, but about the way they present it (even the CD cover is done in '60s-psychedelic style). You won't listen to it for the songwriting genius or complexity of music. But it's definitely worth listening for the vibe -- this record is just old fashioned fun. They may be the ray of light for the fans of Ted Nugent, who want the old-school '70s rock to be back. // 10