For almost two decades The Generators have been cranking out quality punkrock and continue to do so to this day. Case in point, “Life Gives, Life Takes”, the band’s tenth album which shows that these generators still have plenty of juice left in them. The band wastes no time warming up and get right into it with “Gotta Be A Better Way”, a sweet punkrock tune that could’ve easily come off of any Bad Religion album. In fact, if Greg Gaffin ever calls it a day, vocalist Doug Kane could easily step in because the two of them sound a helluva lot alike. And the same can be said about the music with tons of catchy choruses, nice backup choirs and short but effective solos. Not that these guys are simply ripping off Bad Religion, it’s more that they sound like a natural extension to their more well-known big brothers.
The Generators keep the momentum going with tunes like “Castaways” and “Goodbye California”, two more songs that will make you feel like you’ve stumbled across a Bad Religion album no one bothered to tell you about. The only difference is that The Generators inject their material with more of a streetpunk vibe and that they will throw in a ska tune like “Heartbreak Beach” or use a piano in “Perfume & Poison”. It’s equal parts California punkrock and rock ‘n roll and it pretty friggin’ great most of the time.
Unfortunately not all of the songs on here pack the same punch… the middle part of the album has a couple of tunes that just don’t live up to the expectations raised in the first half. Both “Neck At Neck With Death” and “Devil’s Playground” aren’t quite up to par with the first batch of tracks and “Here In The Heatwave” sounds downright cheesy and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Luckily things take a turn for the better afterwards with “Critical Condition” and “So Sick Of This”, two furious cuts that will get every moshpit going.
My only other qualm (and it’s a small one) is that two songs on here (“My Days Are Numbered” and the title track) sound like they weren’t mastered… weird. Other than that “Life Gives, Life Takes” is a solid punkrock album that is sure to please all the fans of Bad Relgion, Social D and Pennywise.