Following the failure of their 1994 self-titled debut, D Generation left Chrysalis/EMI for Columbia, taking four of their debut’s best songs with them, “No Way Out,” “Frankie,” “Waiting for the Next Big Parade,” and a cover of Reagan Youth’s “Degenerated.”
The band had been heavily hyped, and their debut was a disappointment, both artistically and commercially. Their commercial fortunes would never change, but they would redeem themselves artistically with a vengeance on No Lunch.
Opening with “Scorch,” which lives up to its name by engulfing you in flames for 1:17, No Lunch immediately launches into “She Stands There,” a ridiculously catchy speed-pop number that lets you know that these guys love all sorts of punk, and you’re going to take a breathtaking tour of all of it in the album’s short running time–from the tough-but-heartbreaking Johnny Thunders tribute “Too Loose” to the hardcore of “Degenerated.” Ric Ocasek’s production captures every fleck of spittle that no doubt hit anyone who was standing anywhere near singer Jesse Malin during the recording sessions. It utterly rocks.
No Lunch is a lost classic of the 1990s. It should have made D Generation a household name, and the retooled version of “No Way Out” (called a “stone classic” in Rolling Stone’s contemporary review) should have become a rock-radio standard. No Lunch? No justice.
The No Lunch version of “No Way Out”:
“She Stands There.” Don’t blame me if this song gets stuck in your head for days:
I wish I could embed these (update: now I can!) and make a couple of fan videos for other songs, but Sony BMG doesn’t seem to be too friendly to that sort of activity. A pity. I would love it if more people heard, and then bought, this album. It deserves both.
Posts in this series below the fold.
Album Review: D Generation – No Lunch (this post)