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July 15, 2024

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Generator (Self Released)

By: Alex Steininger

After selling 800 copies of his first solo album, Rob Daiker wanted to expand beyond just a songwriter's CD, so he set out to find the perfect members to compliment his music and to add their own unique touch. In comes Dan Pred and Blake Sakamoto, formerly of Polygram Record's Dan Reed Network, and with Daiker they entered the studio and Generator was formed. Fusing deep melodies and a dark edge with a pop rock front, the band entered the studio and recorded their debut CD with Dan Reed in the producer's chair.

Starting off with some synthesizer work and distorted vocals, "Breath" gives you the impression this might be a dark gothic album. Soon a guitar fires through the music, with the bass and the drums backing it up. The idea is then re-enforced that this just might be a heavy metal/goth rock album. Then the band lightens up, the vocals come in clean and clear, and the pop fundamentals of the album are revealed. Hooks and a catchy rhythm are soon sprinkled throughout the song, with it occasionally jumping back into its goth rock setting. Overall the song is decent, but jumps too much into the dark spectrum, overshadowing its catchy pop work. "Sunlight," really track three despite its listing as track two on the back of the CD (but correctly labeled in the booklet), is the most infectious, melodic, catchy number on this CD. Well written hooks integrated with a nice chorus and a warm, pop atmosphere give this song a lot of power to feed off of. Back to the chorus, I found myself singing along with it every time it came through the song. "Baby I'd like to go, go, go" echoes through the chorus, complete with rich melody and tightly integrated hooks. "Shadow" slows down, giving the listener a taste of Generator's softer side. Rather than staying in a deep rock atmosphere, they trade in the electric guitar for an acoustic guitar and let the lyrics and vocals be the tour guide. Soft and innocent, the song seems very personal. Rob Daiker seems to open himself up and pour out all his emotions regarding a past lover. The drums are the hardest thing in the song, as they softly bang away in background giving the song the kick it needs to stay passionate as well as muscular. "Weight" starts out with more of that heavy metal/goth rock work, but soon slides into a more pop setting. The vocals still carry a goth-esqe feeling for a few seconds, but soon clear up and the music becomes straight ahead pop rock. And this is where they are at their best. Hooky and poppy, the drums ride the cymbals, getting your body dancing along with the percussion work, while the guitar and bass help give you enough bounce to feed off of. "Star" closes out this ten track CD with a slow number that just feels as if it is deep rooted in emotion, slipping into your body and making you feel emotions related as well as unrelated to the song. It's a number you can sit back and enjoy, while thinking of other things going on in your life.

Generator brings many different styles and influences into their world of pop, making for some out-of-the-norm pop-rock. Very catchy and hook-filled in some parts, other parts fall victim to circumstances. They are just not as strong as their brothers, so they get left behind and forgotten. Best when they are concentrating on creating nice hooks, these guys have the power to get you to sing along. Unfortunately, they sometimes forget this and work more in a dark atmosphere, and leave behind the pop melodies which showcase their talent the best. I'll give this CD a B.

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