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Dirty Americans – Not Quite Dirty Enough

Posted by March 2nd, 2005 No Comments »

Dirty Americans - Too Clean for ComfortDirty Americans
Strange Generation
Liquor and Poker Records
By Christian K

The most surprising thing about the Dirty Americans’ debut LP is the complete lack of dirt. Strange Generation is a slick, spotless affair, showcasing a stunning library of vintage guitar and keyboard sounds. From fuzzed-out solos and swirling squalls of feedback to sweet splashes of Fender Rhodes, these psychedelic Detroit grunge-rockers peddle their sonic influences in a near-plagiaristic welter of rock riffage. The Americans’ act is an homage to acid-rock heavies like Blue Oyster Cult and the MC5, but the band’s approach betrays a simpler, poppier sensibility – they’re more Superdrag than Supergrass. “Car Crash” is the sound of the formula working – chunky slabs of tubed-out guitar framing a catchy chorus, complete with falsetto harmonies and a minor-key breakdown.

Dirty Americans - Too Clean for ComfortDirty Americans
Strange Generation
Liquor and Poker Records
By Christian K

The most surprising thing about the Dirty Americans’ debut LP is the complete lack of dirt. Strange Generation is a slick, spotless affair, showcasing a stunning library of vintage guitar and keyboard sounds. From fuzzed-out solos and swirling squalls of feedback to sweet splashes of Fender Rhodes, these psychedelic Detroit grunge-rockers peddle their sonic influences in a near-plagiaristic welter of rock riffage. The Americans’ act is an homage to acid-rock heavies like Blue Oyster Cult and the MC5, but the band’s approach betrays a simpler, poppier sensibility – they’re more Superdrag than Supergrass. “Car Crash” is the sound of the formula working – chunky slabs of tubed-out guitar framing a catchy chorus, complete with falsetto harmonies and a minor-key breakdown.

At their best, the band pulls off a pleasing fusion of the major extant strains of stoner rock. Unfortunately, fans of this sort of music usually expect a base level of subversive savvy that just isn’t there. Myron’s voice is pleasant enough, but the lyrics are, on the whole, stupid. One could argue this doesn’t matter – the Americans have a really great guitar player (check out the intro to “Give It Up,”) which is usually enough. What’s alarming is the band sounds more at home on Creedish post-grunge material like “Time In Space” than on their stripped down Motor-City-Rock numbers. Strange Generation may be a little too clean for comfort, but hey, I’ll bet these guys are great live. – (6/10)


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