The Dictators


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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.

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