Released October 31st
Only eight months after the release of the Hollywood Holocaust EP, MK Ultra detonates another electro-punk bomb and it is clear that they have lost none of their fierce attitude. Generation dead covers refreshing new lyrical ground, and sounds more mature but without losing any of the riotous fun, that has captured hordes of Evil Ones.
Album opener Opiate Nation is heavier than previous offerings; the track is driven by ferocious guitar leading us towards a massive chorus. The lyrics manage to be vaguely political but without alienating anyone “Welcome to opiate nation” has multiple interpretations. The astounding scream and guitar solo on this track are my favorite parts of the whole album. The call to arms quality of this song will make it very popular with the Evil Ones although the reminiscence of bands like Murderdolls might just win them some new fans too.
It’s Only Killing has an initial Marilyn Manson vibe to it before dissolving into goth-pop electronica. This track is softer but doesn’t interrupt the pace or energy of the album and the lyrics sound like the sadistic induction into some kind of cult, and by the end of this hypnotic track you might just find yourself wanting to join, after all It’s Only Killing. Lyrically relapsing into Hollywood Holocaust territory Obsessive is another needle in the vein of the Hollywood Whore. It’s sung with such vitriol desperation MK Ultra makes the cliché theme of love as an addiction sound almost innovative.
There’s a slight sag in the middle of the album with perfectly good but ultimately quite forgettable Obsessive followed by irritating and slow Asylum. However all this is rapidly fixed and readily forgiven by title track Generation Dead, which is relentless cacophony of electronica and glam rock, it what Mötley Crüe would sound like if someone sent them into the future. The urgency and energy of this song live would be enough to reanimate corpses and get them shouting “rock is dead it’s time to bring it back” at the top of their rotting lungs, do not play this song on Halloween, you have been warned!
The catchy simplicity of Another Lover makes it very appealing and it has an honest, genuine aspect that MK Ultra’s other attempts at heartfelt songs have been missing. Despite the usual attitude of never ending on a slow song, Another Lover is the perfect album or set closer because it is lyrically and musically strong. It’s also a proper earworm, but in a good way, and really the ultimate goal of any piece of music is to be memorable.
Altogether Generation Dead has more endurance than previous MK Ultra material; it can be listened to many times without becoming tiresome. It also has greater depth and the slightly heavier more Rock infused musical direction is just what they needed to set them apart from the crowd and while not every single track is a standout there is enough there to satisfy the listener. The new maturity and less frequent use expletives will give MK Ultra a wider appeal, but they’ve done this without losing the excitement that made people love them in the first place, overall an impressive feat.