Dictators - Viva Dictators! (Cover Artwork)


Dictators: Viva Dictators!Viva Dictators! (2005)
Escapist Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

A lot can happen to a band in twenty years. In an era where bands have trouble outliving their first album, New York City's own Dictators took their proto-punk anthems and reformed in 1991, seventeen years after they began, playing alongside the likes of MC5 and the Stooges. Viva Dictators! is a col.
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A lot can happen to a band in twenty years. In an era where bands have trouble outliving their first album, New York City's own Dictators took their proto-punk anthems and reformed in 1991, seventeen years after they began, playing alongside the likes of MC5 and the Stooges. Viva Dictators! is a collection of seventeen songs played live that sound absolutely pristine, with the band energetically ripping their way through a great set featuring such songs as "New York, New York," "Pussy And Money," and "Faster & Louder."

At an hour long, the album is an amazing recorded example of just what one would experience if they were to see the band live. Everything is on point, and the recording quality of the show is nothing short of superb; the atmosphere and crowd are captured very well, without any reduction in the sound quality of Dictators themselves. You just wouldn't expect the level of quality shown here for songs performed live, but that's not the only area that Dictators impress. Starting out with the loud decree of "We are the Dictators! And I'm proud to say, we are from the great city, of New York, New York!" the band never looks back. The music isn't particularly fast, or loud, as most punk standards would have, but the spirit and "fuck you" attitude is undeniable.

Where Dictators excel is writing fun tunes that may be relatively simple, but that you cannot resist singing along to. Don't count their abilities out however, or relegate them to a band who's only able to write some catchy music, because some of the riffing present in these songs is downright impressive. "Avenue A" lets guitarist Andy Shernoff take the lead and run with it, as the end of the song features him just shredding away over the pounding of the drums and it sounds fantastic. Plenty of other songs also showcase Shernoff's prowess on the strings, as "Minnesota Strip" gives him ample time to light up the stage and fill the speakers with his powerful riffage. The band still belongs to singer Dick Manitoba, however, and he lets his voice, though not as powerful or loud as some, take some real command.

There's really not a bad song to be found on the entire album, and with an hour for a runtime, that's quite the feat. They don't allow the sound to grow stale, opting instead to change up tempos and vocal deliveries to keep interest. And as simple as the main chord progressions remain throughout, there's still always time for some amazing shredding, and you'll find no better than the end of "I Am Right." Simply great stuff, and again accompanied very well by the drums.

Normally for a punk album, I'd find an hour to be far too long to remain entertaining, but Dictators have defied that stereotype and laid down an exemplary live album. The flow kept throughout each of the 17 songs and the content of each is something to be admired, regardless of how old the content actually is from a band that's even older. In Dictators, you'll find a band to be admired, a band who does everything right that a band needs to do. Highly recommended.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (November 29, 2005)

andy is not the lead guitarist ross is

Anonymous (November 22, 2005)

ross is the guitarplayerbuddy

Anonymous (September 23, 2005)

The review, like the CD misses the mark on a few occasions. Mistaking Shernoff and Ross the Boss is akin to mistaking Lewis and Martin, but that has been duly noted. And its been 30 years (as opposed to 20) since the release of Go Girl Crazy. More important, me thinks the writer hasn't caught The Dictators on too many occasions, because a disappointment shared by many of the world's greatest rock n roll band's mega fans (myself included) feel it missed the mark in recreating the true Dictators experience. Still one is left with an excellent set list and great audio of Dictators' songs that just happen to be performed live by the aforementioned world's greatest band. Andy and Ross are appropriately proud of Cars and Girls, albeit recorded at a sound check and reworked in the studio

Still, this is a must have CD (along with the other 5 efforts) for the true rock n roll fan. Shernoff is a genius songwriter. Ross is THE great American rock n roll guitarist. Manitoba is, well, the handsomest man in rock n roll, a/k/a King of Men. JP is a timekeeper extraordinaire. Punk, proto-punk, et al‚?¶label them as you like. The Dictators are rock n roll the way God intended---Faster and Louder. If only they‚??d come out and play.

Gene Suttle
President & co-Founder
Hillbilly Dictators Jihad

housewrecker (September 19, 2005)

Dictators OWN.

Anonymous (September 18, 2005)

Dude, "Faster and Louder" is my fucking theme song.


Anonymous (September 16, 2005)

It's the Dictators so it's going to be great - slight problem with the review though, Adny (sp, I don't know why he does it) is the bass player. The shredding - that's Ross the Boss. For more Ross the Boss check out some early Manowar.

wehavecomeforyourchildren (September 16, 2005)

kids like us should have ripped this off for the cover of "outta control." similar concept, slightly cooler.

Anonymous (September 16, 2005)

Their entire first album is classic after classic. They influenced ALL punks (including the Ramones, I don't care what they say), from their music to their sleeve designs.


lushj (September 16, 2005)

I can't wait to hear this. (not the most surprising comment, I know)

gladimnotemo (September 16, 2005)

Eh, I am indifferent about this band. Nothing too spectacular, but they have some classic songs, like "Two Tub Man".

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