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The Dictators

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Album Review

New York City is undoubtedly the toughest city in the world. The Dictators are the toughest band ever from New York City. What does this mean? You do the math. The Dictators' first proper new album in 23 years, D.F.F.D. (Dictators Forever Forever Dictators) is a non-stop barrage of spitfire precision rock. The material is, unbelievably, their best and most consistent ever for an album. Starting off with a mission statement, "Who Will Save Rock and Roll?," the tone is set. Following that is "I Am Right!," which features ferocious and locked in lead and rhythm playing courtesy of the always amazing Ross the Boss and Scott "Top Ten" Kempner, while Shernoff and J.P. Thunderbolt Patterson stoke the flames in the engine room. Unlike their punk rock brethren, musicianship is very high on the the Dictators list of priorities, and it shows — the playing here is nothing short of spectacular. On D.F.F.D., the Dictators play like an all-star team of rock & roll players. The guys get to vent on "Ave. A," a rock-solid rant against what the neighborhood, the Lower East Side, is becoming (bistros with men in tan pants and sweaters tied around their necks — spare me!). Frontman extrordinaire Handsome Dick Manitoba is the perfect singer for tunesmith Andy Shernoff's songs. Always street wise and never short of hysterical, Shernoff successfully manages to be funny without being a joke, and Manitoba delivers the message loudly and clearly. The album is varied as well. Songs like "What's Up With That?" and "Jim Gordon Blues" are on the poppy side, while "Channel Surfing" is a twangy instrumental. Mostly, though, it's the hellfire of songs like "Burn Baby Burn!!" and "Savage Beat" that make the point best. This is a fully realized CD that delivers the goods in a big, big way.

Customer Reviews

it's the bahmb

Drop the needle anywhere on a Dictator's platter and you will find a song everybody should hear, like Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," FZ's "Willie the Pimp," the extended version of "Perfect" with David Johansen playing harmonica, or the Jesus and Mary Chain's version of "Vegetable Man." Actually, don't think you will find those songs but you will find many that should be inducing fist pumping as we speak. So what are ya waiting for...? Listen you to some Dictators, bro!


Formed: 1974 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in 1974, N.Y.C.'s Dictators were one of the finest and most influential proto-punk bands to walk the earth. Alternately reveling in and satirizing the wanton excesses of a rock & roll lifestyle and lowbrow culture (e.g., wrestling, TV, fast food), with their world-view defined by bassist/keyboardist and former fanzine publisher (Teenage Wasteland Gazette) Andy (occasionally Adny) Shernoff and renegade rock critic/theorist Richard Meltzer, the Dictators played loud, fast rock & roll...
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