Reader As Detective
There’s an excitement to experimentation. It’s one of the true balancing acts an artist or group can do when writing and producing their material. Sometimes it becomes a curiosity, sometimes the experiment falls flat on it’s face and in some cases, such as Generationals’ new album Reader As Detective it soars in the face of traditional songwriting and becomes somewhat transcendental. The duo had been experimenting with single one off songs and videos over the last couple years, complied on their 2018 release State Dogs, and freed from the regular album cycle bands can get caught up in, they have come back to the format sounding fresh and more vital than ever.
Reader As Detective starts so strong with the lead track “I’ve Been Wrong Before” building up from a slightly arpeggiated synth drone and right into a full on banging drum part that sets the tone and doesn’t let up. When the uplifting piano bounces in “I Turned My Back On The Written Word” hits you’ll most likely find yourself dancing around your living room. The song, itself a recontextualized unreleased B Side, is such a delight. From the sing a long chorus and the stuttering rhythm section there is so much to enjoy here. Working with producer Dan Black the duo treads a lot of ground on Reader As Detective. There’s the anthemic chorus of “Breaking Your Silence” which seems slightly indebted to the kind of hits you would hear on the radio in the 80s. “Xeno Bobby” has an almost nursery rhyme quality to it’s lead off vocal melody that is so infectious you may feel like you need to get your shots before the song has wrapped. By the time the album concludes with the minimal summery R&B of “Dream Box” you’ll be ready to hit play and go through the entire thing all over again.
Generationals devotion to keeping things fresh with a slight nod to the past but with their feet firmly on the gas pedal moving forward to the future has kept their material bright and vital. Reader As Detective is a bold step forward for the band, a summer album that you won’t need to turn your brain off to enjoy and one that keeps you looking forward to what they come up with next.
review by Adam Fink
8/16 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada *
8/17 – Austin, TX – Antone’s Nightclub *
8/19 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar *
8/20 – San Diego, CA – Casbah *
8/22 – Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room *
8/23 – Santa Barbara, CA – SOhO Music Club *
8/24 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent*
8/26 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge *
8/27 – Vancouver, BC – Fox Cabaret *
8/28 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile *
8/30 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
9/18 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon ^
9/19 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club ^
9/20 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall ^
9/21 – Columbus, OH – The A&R Music Bar ^
9/22 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern ^
9/24 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair ^
9/26 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg ^
9/27 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s ^
9/28 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat ^
9/30 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall #
10/2 – Nashville, TN – The Basement East #
10/3 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade #
10/4 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn #
10/5 – New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s #
* with Pure Bathing Culture
^ with Gemma
# with Neighbor Lady
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