Latex Generation

Onefoot Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


These days, it seems like everyone wants to be Green Day.

In a way, that's an unfair statement to make. Punk rock existed long before Green Day hit the streets, but it's only been since their success that many other bands started to poke their heads out into the mainstream.

The latest of these bands, New York's own Latex Generation, has been around for most of the '90s, but have only recently been getting serious attention. Their latest effort, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Boysrock, is a decent enough effort, but fails to plow any new ground in the genre.

The band - guitarist/vocalist Joe Latex, bassist/vocalist Tommy Rockstar and drummer Brian Alias - have a powerful enough sound, and they are a tight musical unit. But when listening to tracks like "21 (Of Age)", "Inspiration On TV" and "Campsite 54", you may get a feeling of deja vu - as if you've heard this before. Even the occasional addition of tenor saxophone doesn't change that feeling - now it's like you're listening to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

For what Latex Generation gains in terms of musicianship they lose ground on in songwriting. Sure, they take the time to develop song concepts a bit more than other members of their punk brethren ("One For The Bastards"), but the mixture of irreverence and raw energy ("Come Along Sorry Ass, We're Going Places", "Ilona Stanley's Response") conjures up four words: Been there, done that.

And it's not that Latex Generation is doing a carbon copy of Green Day; it's just that they're not doing anything to set themselves apart in a genre that is getting quite crowded. (It also bothers me that the band doesn't seem to want to try their hand at harmony vocals; I think they're capable of pulling that off.)

It's not that Boysrock is a bad album; if you like punk rock and alternative music, then you're sure to get some kicks with this disc. But in a genre where so many bands sound the same, one would think that you'd want to try or do something different in order to set yourself apart from the crowd. Unfortunately, Latex Generation doesn't make that bold move - pity.

One note: This disc does come with a multimedia section, which I didn't spend much time with at all because of a hectic schedule. The little I saw seemed pretty good, but I obviously need to play with this a little more.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Onefoot Records, and is used for informational purposes only.