As I posited in my introduction to the band, I think the chief reason D Generation never took off as expected was that their sound wasn’t right for the times–“What kind of music are you guys?”, singer Jesse Malin asks in “Guitar Mafia,” imitating some early-’90s-era scenester. “Are you alternative?”
However, D Generation’s doomed quest for a hit was not at all aided by the weaknesses of their 1994 debut. The primary cause of these weaknesses isn’t D Generation, who mount furious performances of a number of good-to-great songs. The problem is the production, which is pretty much the same for each one of those songs–a treble-heavy, ’80s-metal sound that isn’t quite appropriate to the material and just doesn’t sound all that good.
The result is that I tend to tune out a little more than a third of the way through the record, This is a shame because although the album is definitely top-heavy, there are good songs after that point: “Falling,” the single “Wasted Years,” and “Frankie” for starters.
No doubt the band recognized that the production was a problem when they decamped from Chrysalis/EMI for Columbia for their second album, the vastly improved No Lunch, because they took four of the best songs from D Generation with them. They did leave some gems behind, though.
Start with No Lunch, but consider D Generation for further exploration if No Lunch inspires you. It’s not great, particularly if you already have those four superior No Lunch renditions, but it is available for almost nothing.
“No Way Out” is the classic from D Generation, but we will hear the No Lunch version of that song in the next post in this series. For this post, we will listen to a couple of songs that were left behind.
“Sins of America”:
Other posts in this series listed below the fold.
Posts in this series:
Album Review: D Generation – D Generation (this post)