dictators-saturdayOkay.  True story; this.  I’m in Red Eye Records, Sydney, cruising the racks.  Trying to find that new audio kick.  I chance upon this item.  Surely, I have every damn thing the Dictators ever released.  What is this thing?  A cursory glance at the back cover says it came out in 2008.  I reach for my mobile phone and jump to the I-94 Bar for the good word and there isn’t one to be had.  There is no frigging review.   Clearly, I had better rectify this situation.

If you know who the Dictators are, skip this paragraph.  If you don’t: Hey, numb-nuts. What’s your malfunction?  If there is some sort of list handed down by God telling you the twenty albums you should own, the Dictators Go Girl Crazy is etched solid in stone.   Ross the Boss!  Fingers and Steel no pedals arse kickings.  Influential?   I reckon even Johnny Kannis would cop to lifting most of his Hitmen shtick from the boys from New York City and he don’t cop to nothing.  The Dictators live for Cars, Girls, Surfing.  Ain’t nothing else matters except Rock and Roll, Weekends and Beer.  Their first album seamlessly welds hard rock to '60s pop so perfectly you can’t see the join.  

Normally, I frown on Heavy Metal and boorish male bonding but the Dictators represent some kind of transcending exception to the rule.  Perhaps, it’s just because they’re smart and their tongues are firmly planted in their cheeks.  Forget about it.  The Dictators create their own little genre and universe with that debut album.  If you don’t own it and cherish it, you are seriously on the wrong web site, pal.  Go play with a passing truck.

“Every Day is Saturday” is a collection of Dictators’ demo tapes.  The first marvel is five, count them, five pre Girl Crazy songs.  Originals “Weekend” and “Master Race” you know.  “California Sun” appears in a slightly ruder version than you have heard before.  There are also two new originals, “Backseat Boogie” and “Fireman’s Friend”.  Fireman is based on a Superman comic book and  is primo Dictators.  Boogie chugs along and eventually raises itself above the bar through a pop chord progression twist.  (Including the word Boogie in your song title is always a mistake and should be avoided at all costs.)  Don’t mind me.  This thing just earned its price of admission.  Anything else is just gravy. 

The Dictators’ second album “Manifest Destiny” may be took itself a tad too seriously.  However, “Sleeping with the TV on” is such a great song.  A demo version is included here with a cover of “America the Beautiful” recorded at the same time.  Both sound more like first album out-takes so the wins keep coming.    

Next comes demos of just about all of the third album “Blood Brothers”.  (The only thing missing is their cover of “Slow Death”).  “Blood Brothers” marked a return to form for the Dictators and these demo versions are all of a similar quality.  Maybe a little rougher around the edges but that ain’t necessarily a bad thing.   Throw in two versions of “16 Forever”, “Loyola”, “Laughing out Loud” and “What’s up with that?” and this is must have stuff.  What are you waiting for?  No correspondence will be entered into.