Metalcentral Records – 2010 – Sweden
Forgive the cheese, but The General are a Swedish band whose sound packs serious firepower. Most of this “Stand Up Straight” debut reeks of goode ole’ rawk n’ roll attitude (and thrash); the musical violence burning through the album’s 40-minute length contagious and packed with loads of appeal. The slugfest begins on the rip roaring “Blessing In Disguise” where the quartet’s peculiar blend of Amon Amarth grunts meets Entombed grit ignites a fire in the listener’s pants. It’s here that singer/bassist Hednar’s gruff growl first launches from your speakers. Judging by his performance, he’s one ugly bastard behind the mic and it suits the rollicking music to perfection. Call him Sweden’s Lemmy, except he prefers the death metal vocal style.
Next song “The Offer Still Stands” sticks to the same no-nonsense mold except it’s louder, inflicting enough damage until “Punchline,” a pugilistic affair bursting with frenetic speed and hooks galore; it’s the perfect contrast to “The Illusionist”’s muscular unsubtlety. The title track brings on the fury as the oddly named drummer Metalmartin punishes his drum kit without remorse along to the rest of the group’s jagged pace. Horror of horrors, “One Eye Red” reeks of the most ‘core’ with its shameless chugga-chugging breakdown around the chorus. Rest assured, it remains an enjoyable tune, perhaps the heaviest on the album given its laid back tempo and bruisng chunkiness.
The Generals show off their thrash metal influences on a slew of mosh-worthy anthems where unadulterated clean singing occasionaly makes a cameo. The energetic “Portal To Paradise” and “Split Vision, Snap Decision” are full throttle pubic hair incinerators whose verve contrasts the catchy “Trunkride”’s faux tough guy declarations. Album closer “Do It Like The Devil” keeps the fires burning and the listener is grateful the band is in such fine form on their first album. Where multitudes often slip, stumble, and fail, The Generals are in ace form throughout “Stand Up Straight.” Be it their songwriting or the album’s petty details, it’s a complete package. Thank Satan for bands like The Generals.