D Generation – Through the Darkness – Review

D Generation

Through the Darkness (Columbia)
by Craig Regala

Previously, D Generation worked as a retro-rock punk attack leaning on a well-worn NY street rock vibe that surfaced with the stuff The Dolls listened to through Mr. Thunders/Heartbreakers/Corpse Grinders/etc. Well, any spark struck from that flint this time around has hit wet wood. This dry-cleaned, boring music settles upon the recent couple of Social Distortion records as a model without the shit hot recording or monster drummer. Same middle-of-the-road loud strumminess and dead-in-the-water arrangements. Maybe Diane Warren could help guys.

NY has always been prone to scam/style artists and the pop prerogative of Tin Pan Alley songcraft. The Dolls sure as fuck weren’t known for the ass end of the music, it was all voice, guitar licks, and “attitude.” No wonder the kids all bought Aerosmith’s kickassicuss instead, ’cause without killer songs put over hard, sweet, fast, and slangy, this shit’s DOA.

While there are a couple OK tunes here – “Hatred,” “Sick on The Radio,” and “Cornered” may rock out live – this is nothing more than a more generic Hanoi Rocks recidivous. Throw this up against the recent kick-ass Swedish stuff working off the same general models (Backyard Babies, Hellacopters, Gluecifer, Turbonegro), and it comes off closer to a spittle-inflected Poison without hooks than somethin’ with a working knowledge of rock and roll’s rich, diverse, and potent history. Plus their Neil cover, “Don’t be Denied,” is tedious, and the song titles they share with the Damned (“So Messed Up”) and Thin Lizzy (“Chinatown”) do a disservice to those two fire-eaters. If D Gen’s first couple were sixes on a scale of ten, this is a four.
(550 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10022)