Generationals

State Dogs: Singles 2017-18

Polyvinyl

Jan 07, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


It's nice to hear new music from an unfamiliar act; there is no expectation to screw it up. The listener can ingest the album for what it is, not what it should be. In Generationals' case, it's ranging pop rock that reminds of other bands, although it is difficult to put a finger on it. New Orleans natives Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner might be a faster Youth Lagoon ("Days Alone") or a lesser version of CHVRCHES ("Turning the Screw"). Nonetheless, they know how to write a song.    

State Dogs is a collection of nine previously released singles and one unreleased song from the last two years. Generationals' prior LP for Polyvinyl was 2014's Alix; before that was 2013's Heza and two albums for Park the Van (2011's Actor-Caster and 2009's Con Law). Exotic titles, and it forebodes the coolness playing out on State Dogs. With some instruments and drum programming, Joyner and Widmer find faith in hooks and a mix of injection. Whether it's the unique slinking tone on "Catahoula Man" or the subtle siren backdrop on "Mythical," Generationals is swimming. The duo also gets full use out of a xylophone ("Silent Ocean") and sets a Christmas mood ("Kid"). However, the vocals tend to mumble and the set runs out of freshness towards the end. (www.generationals.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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