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State of the Nation

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Album Review

On their previous albums, the Generators had shown that they could deliver tight, punchy punk-pop with style and a bit of sophistication. State of the Nation is a deliberate return to their roots, a loud, delightful chunk of neo-primitive punk. The first six songs were recorded in a studio, the last two live at an outdoor festival. Surprisingly, they're not that different. The harmonies are ragged but still tuneful, the guitars raw and snarling, the sound better than typical live club recordings but still not polished. The lyrics on the original tunes are something else, dealing with serious subjects with irony and rare compassion. "Tough as Nails" is a standout, an unexpectedly wise song about how adults destroy good and kind impulses in their children in the name of helping them face a cruel world. No such deep thoughts are reflected in the other standout track from the album, a delightful live performance of Cock Sparrer's Oi! anthem, "Runnin' Riot." The contrasting themes are not really in contradiction — listeners understand that the passionate incitement to destruction is all in fun. State of the Nation is a joyous celebration of punk rock, a return to the garage for a band that knows how to make the best of a studio, and also when to avoid the studio completely and let it roar loud, fast, and straight. [Note: Though no mention is made of it on the CD case, a Quicktime version of the video for "Down in the City" from the band's previous album is included on this CD.]


Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

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

Not to be confused with a Finnish outfit also called the Generators, this band is a snarling, in-your-face punk quintet that came out of Los Angeles in the '90s. L.A.'s Generators steer clear of the type of pop-minded emocore that alternative rock radio was quick to play in the '90s and early 2000s, their boisterous recordings proudly recall the old school punk of the late '70s and early '80s. The Generators have a variety of American and British influences; their sound owes a lot to British pub...
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State of the Nation, The Generators
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