HardReviews 2
by Martin Popoff

The Dictators - D.F.F.D.
(Dictators Multi/Media)

The Dictators' last record, 1978's Bloodbrothers is one of my favourite half dozen albums of all time, so it's more than good with the world to see a spanker of a new album, here, now, let's rock! Wait, go back. A dozen years after their three record run, the band returned as Manitoba's Wild Kingdom and scored a hit with The Party Starts Now. The party kept going, with Handsome Dick, Andy and Ross playing live the world over, absolutely killing crowds with their hi-fidelity, high energy, guitars, bars and vocals fer miles rock confection perfection. This is an important point. I saw them in Toronto a couple years back and swear on a dogpile of rock journos, it was a gorgeous rock 'n' roll epiphany, best show in years, main moment being (and this is almost weird) that the first song on this record, Who Will Save Rock And Roll?, played live that night, has stuck to my memory circuits pretty much intact, never having heard it again until this album's cloudbursting introduction. It is, or should be, an incredible worldwide hit (Ross the Boss is ON FIRE. LIT UP.), and it's worth the price of this album alone (see www.thedictators.com to part with that price). The rest of the album could never hold a candle to this track and it of course doesn't. But aside from two stinkers quick in the sequence (this shocked and saddened me, but they, then I, recovered), those being I Am Right! And Pussy And Money, much of the rest of the album is resplendent, world-saving rock 'n' roll (of course they can and they can't) obtusely built on the band's deep wellspring-osmosed knowledge of a specific rock posture, the plucking of an abstract found in '60s music, punk and certain heavy metals, an innate ability to re-shuffle the time-honoured half-basket of chords that make up every hook smash bullet song, and create linear lunchbucket New York borough bar metal Chicken McGoldNuggets out of them. So incredibly, some tracks surf close to tugging the hem of the immortal opening track, including What's Up With That?, The Savage Beat, Jim Gordon Blues and Avenue A, all for different reasons. I'm a bit bummed because a couple others are only half good and one track's disqualified, so there's only really 11 songs here. But, like six and a half to seven of them, I will play 60 times a piece, which is about 50 to 55 times more than almost ANYTHING new I have to listen to, the lion's share of it being work, The Dictators being play, repeat, play, damn, I shouldn't be doing this... gotta work.
Rating 8.5

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