Jersey - Generation Genocide (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Generation Genocide (2003)


The opening track to Generation Genocide, the latest offering from Canada's own Jersey, reveals everything that went into the fourteen songs on this album: a common passion for Rancid and Social Distortion, proficient musicianship, a hint of American imitation, and a healthy dash of posed smiles mixed into the punk-type fun. Drum intro, repeated guitar patterns, sing along chorus, posturing aplenty, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-‘guitar solo'-repeated chorus-sudden rock ending, everything that makes for a punk hit. "This Town" is a solid track among many hundreds of punk tunes just like it, and one of the best moments on Generation Genocide. The music of Jersey is tried punk rock at medium volume and mildly stylized, which is unfortunate because Jersey are four talented rock musicians who seem to enjoy what they do quite a bit. Singer/guitarist Greg Taylor spits his melodies like a veteran, but the lyrical content is less than inspiring covering fictitious accounts of tough guy tales and creative uses of the word "war" spun into self-help speeches, and the music of Jersey is just too damn assuring and optimistic to come across as anything tough, or dare I say, punk.

One thing I can say about Jersey that singles them out from most pop-punk outfits is the decision to write and perform songs at different tempos and feels, an extremely fresh breath of fresh air in a monotonous scene of rhythmically challenged rock and rollers. There is a flow to this record, there appears to be a plan of some sort rather than a collection of songs, and to this I give the critical thumbs-up, but the imagination is not present to make this Canadian export more interesting than the next. The chops of Greg Taylor, Johnny Lubera (bass/vocals), Sean McNab (guitar/vocals), and Jordan Hastings (drums/vocals) make them better than most, but anthemic moments such as, "Raise your fist and fight/Face your fears and rise/Fall? No Way!/Violation Detonation" from "Violation Detonation" make this record almost silly and a parody of itself, obviously not the intention here, which is most unfortunate. With clean production and energized playing, the weakness here is almost solely the lyrics. Songwriting aside, for "Crossfire", the throw-away "Interlude", and "Lessons" are too sugar sweet without words, the remainder of the songs are solid without the lyrics. "Violation Detonation", "This Town", "One Way St", "Shop Floor", and "Richmond Resurrection" are fairly exciting in their instrumentation. But with lyrics such as, "I felt your heat, and I felt it colder than ice/Like your red glazed eyes burning in the back of my head/You feed and twist until I fall and I fall/Into the black scarred skies and your bloody sunrise" from "Richmond Resurrection" and, "Tonight's the night we've gotta do it right!/The clock strikes 12 the sun's gone down/The party rises up, risin' up in Burlington/Saturday Night, reminisce and renegade. We're on a mission to no submission/The Brigade, the youth is on the loose tonight we gotta do it right!" What exactly they are constantly rising to is unknown, and if they wish to go against the grain and put the man in his place, they need to stop making music the man would actually feel safe listening to.

Jersey makes fun, unassuming, and unchallenging punk rock perfect for those who like a flash in the pan, but this band has been around just shy of ten years which tells me they enjoy what they do and how things are done in their band. Relevancy is of no importance and greatness is not the goal. This is simply safe rock and roll that will sell tickets and put a smile on everyone's face, and there's nothing wrong about this, but there's also nothing dangerous about it either.