From Rust To Run (TKO)
by Ewan Wadharmi
Usually your rare and B-sides collections are a dumping ground for stuff that was put on the B-side or went out-of-print for a reason. The material on From Rust to Ruin, however, fits together like a well-conceived album. Well, for most of the record.
As on Tyranny, The Generators have the potential to be legendary if they weed out some of the throwaway material. It’s not like the days of The Clash where half your songs could be crap and no one said boo. Mike Snow’s trademark bagpipey guitar lines and Doug Dagger’s strong, versatile voice are unique. Most of the tunes have their own character, and the instrumentation with organ is bold. The junkie tale, “Tranquilized,” is an instant classic, and the gorgeous “Voices in the Night” is as perfect a song as you’ll ever hear. As dark as any Nick Cave killin’ song with a hint of Boys Next Door. And the anthem “Nothing to Lose” waves the New Model Army banner. They aren’t afraid to mix in Damned-styled Goth with their Stiff Little Fingers, or Spanish ska with a Jam chorus. As they borrow and steal musically, the lyrics are loaded with clever references to pop-culture from “Run-Around Sue” to “I Fought the Law.” But just when you think you’d never tire of the disc, “Won’t Last Forever” and “Just A Memory” suck in a nostalgic-for-pre-pubescence-Meatloaf way. The covers are fun, but “I’m an Upstart” barely differs from Angelic Upstarts’ version. Only consistency halts them from being a favorite, but they’re right on the verge.
(3126 W. Cary St. #303 Richmond, VA 23221)