It's easy to dismiss The Generals as another melo-death gimmick once the would-be listener discovers that the quartet hail from Sweden. While there is substance to this impression considering the tidbits of At The Gates and Entombed heard on this Stand Up Straight, The Generals are a whole new species altogether. The energy that animates their songs can't be anything other than rock n' roll, but the band's heavier moments reek of thrash, and death metal is their weapon of choice whenever they speed matters up. To suit the album's rawkingness, the vocals are gruff attitude-laden caveman grunts instead of cookie monster homage.
Regarding the songs, the eleven inside this Stand Up Straight debut embody the band's less-is-more aesthetic. Fancy solos and progressive interludes aren't The Generals' ballgame since they prefer meatier material that has its foundation in melody and riffs. Huge riffs. Just try opener Blessing In Disguise whose rollicking edge of your seat pace improves blood circulation. Despite the band's occasional segue into death metal with blastbeats and ballsier growls, none of the usual staid nihilism is present here. What makes The Generals such a delight is that they're already a complete package; four no-bullsh*t Swedes playing no-bullsh*t music that doesn't lose its element of fun and false macho bravado.
Past its tough as nails opening salvo the straightforward The Offer Still Stands boils for a memorable four minutes, bringing another of the band's strength to the forefront—The Generals have this undeniable energy in them. As a result, the music seems much faster than it actually is. Maybe it's best to be a few beers away from sh*tfaced when listening to this album because the party mood here can't be missed even during harder songs like The Illusionist, the title track, and the brawling One Eye Red.
Portal to Paradise, Split Vision, Snap Decision, Trunkride, and the ridiculous final salute Do It Like The Devil sees the band playfully flit between mosh-worthy anthems to whale-sized hooks that are a staple in most of today's drab radio rock. At the hands of The Generals however, these two disparate elements form a harmonious whole; one enjoys the hooks that lead to the furious blasting from the Metalmartin guy behind the drums. It's all a big party complete with a good, friendly brawl and gritty production to complement the album's infectious vibe. An unadulterated chunk of Swedish metallic domination is what Stand Up Straight is. Recommended!
Despite the band's occasional segue into death metal with blastbeats and ballsier growls, none of the usual staid nihilism is present here. What makes The Generals such a delight is that they're already a complete package; four no-bullshit Swedes playing no-bullshit music that doesn't lose its element of fun and false macho bravado.