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Maximum Volume Goji Review 2015 - Coventry’s finest get around to album number two, and MV grovels

If you will permit some unusual self-indulgence, MV would like to start this review with an apology to General. It’s not that we haven’t liked them for years – we have, ever since we first saw them – or even misjudged them, criticised them, or anything of the sort. Rather, back in the autumn of 2014 we found ourselves interviewing the guys. A taster piece was written, during which guitarist Dave and singer Graham rather neatly debunked any notion that they gave two shits that they get called a “stoner band” (their PR had been keen to suggest this was an issue) and were extremely pleasant and engaging.

 

Rather the apology comes because the main interview feature, published a week or so after (and which if we do say so ourselves was rather good) disappeared when some techy changes were made that we (obviously) didn’t understand.

 

In fairness this reviewer has bumped into assorted members of the outfit over the last 12 months and they haven’t seemed too bothered, in fact, to be honest, the guys that make up General don’t strike you as the types to be too fussed about anything.

Maximum Volume Reviews - 12th September 2014 - Review

With brilliant debut record “Where Are Your Gods Now?” Under their belts they set about playing those shows and impressing everyone – MAXIMUM VOLUME included – in the process. Now ready(ish) to stick out album number two, General are playing a much changed set. Six new songs are included in their hour tonight. Happily all are superb. They kick off with one of them, “Required To Inspire,” which, whether by accident or design, is probably the heaviest song they play.

 

Elsewhere there are stoner elements to what General do, but that only tells part of the tale, because rather than sludge, there are times when there is a kind of 90’s post grunge feel to things. Singer Graham has a voice that on occasion is reminiscent of Chris Cornell’s howl circa “Badmotorfinger” and he gets to use his full range on “All Who See,” a song he reckons “takes its time but gets there in the end,” he’s not wrong as it has a very pleasing kick to finish, while “Underground” might be dismissed as the “dancing one” but in practice it has the same kind of driving, thumping intentions as Monster Magnet. The pick of the new songs, though, is the audacious “Well, Well, Well” which clocks in at over ten minutes, and along the way twists, turns and meanders into something quite glorious.

Louder Than War - 7th September 2014 - Review

Lastly, and my real reason for being there, the mighty General. Anyone who has heard their first album will know that this lot are, at this moment, right at the top of their game. They start by holding their hands up then break into a slow building first song. The stage doesn’t seem big enough to hold the sound, as the music grows Graham smiles and then starts to sing. Tom’s drums and Ru’s bass ground the songs and give them the huge backbone that lets the guitars mass up and fire into your body and soul. On the one side of the stage Gaz lays down heavy as concrete riffs and across the other side, almost hidden but grinning to himself Dave turns on to the spirit of Ron Asheton and destroys the crowd with his fantastic noise.

The Midlands Rocks - 1st September 2014 - Review

... I am forced to put my impending sense of gloom to one side with the arrival of Coventry’s General, and the five-piece quickly go to work titillating one and all with their infectious blend of upbeat psychedelia and badass blues. My feet are certainly tapping and I’d put good money on everybody else experiencing a similar reaction. It is a killer set I am chuffed to hear that the lads will be back in Brum in September with a full headline show at the infamous Scruffy Murphy’s. Result

Get Your Rock Out - 10th July 2013 - Review

The night began with Coventry-based five piece General, whose opening number ‘Black River’ had a very deep and sludgy sound, reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s Volume 4. The vocalist even sounded like Ozzy Osbourne. That stoner vibe continued with ‘Better Dead’ and this one was particularly notable for a shift in tempo midway through emphasised particularly heavily on the drums, before everything slowed back down to the established rhythm of the first movement. During ‘Hell In Your Eyes’ the vocals got a bit deeper and took on more of a Black Stone Cherry feel, and here as in the previous songs the bass was consistently loud and powerful. Played with comfortable ease through the use of fingers rather than pick, the bassist exuded an understated confidence. Not to be outdone the guitars utilised the wah to great effect during ‘Monkey City’, before the final song of the set ‘Bullet Train’ presented drum work and a guitar break strongly reminiscent of Sabbath’s ‘Children Of The Grave’. All in all this was a damn good set characterised by a weighty sound that harkens back to the darkest sounds of hard rock and heavy metal’s early days.

MetalMouth - 11th July - Review

Coventry’s General get things off to a feedback infused start that launches a set full of huge stoner grooves. Fans of Kyuss need to take notice of this band. Big bass lines topped by some nicely wailing guitars set the scene for what lies ahead tonight. Grahame Stoke’s vocals prove to be the perfect accompaniment, bleeding plenty of passion into the delivery. A quick visit to the merch stand to grab their album, Where Are Your Gods Now? is required. The six song set list has plenty of attitude and power and is warmly received by the growing crowd.

Planetmosh - 13th July 2013


First up were General. Hailing from Coventry they really got things off to an excellent start. Good heavy riffs and great vocals combine to give music that has a real Black Sabbath feel – I’d certainly recommend them to any fans of Black Sabbath. They got a pretty large crowd (possibly helped by the nearby Bull and Gate pub being closed meaning many fans who would normally wait in there till the headliners actually came in to watch the supports), and more importantly they got a good reception from the crowd – I think they’ll have made plenty of new fans tonight. It was noticeable that they looked to be having a great time on stage – their singer in particular could barely stop grinning. Definitely a band that’s wellworth a listen.

The Midlands Rocks - 13th July 2013

All the way from sunny Coventry, show openers General serve thirty minutes of elephantine rock grooves laced with immense amounts of doom, stoner, and sludge to an already-packed house that guzzle down every note as if it’s the only thing that will drag the temperature down and save them from extinction. The heads of the crowd do what they’re supposed to and nod their constant rhythmic approval, and at the end of each song and of the set, the heads disappear beneath a sea of clapping hands.

Platform - 11th July 2013

We’re welcomed to Clutch’s tour, both figuratively and literally by General. Rivers of distorted twanging float out across the crowd as they produce volumes of heavy metal that sound both perfectly heavy and mightily metallic. “Get yourself some drinks” cries their frontman “This is a partay!” Heavy, noddable and thoroughly groovatronic, General alternate between being energetic and being downright ballsy, they produce an Alice In Chains style grungy rock at times, while shaking the ground with their distorted bass at others, what a way to start the night.

Music 224 - 9th July 2013

General, were the first of two supporting acts tonight and these guys are from Coventry, consisting of, Grahame – vocals, Tom – drums, Ru – Bass, Dave – Guitar’s and Gaz also on guitars.


After the first 3 songs, I could easily see why General were chosen to support Clutch on the UK leg of the tour. I wouldn’t say the band are heavily influenced by their hero’s, Clutch, but they do have that dirty/grunting guitar sound going on, but that’s where the similarities end. The band generally are your laid back, stoner rock types. So laid back in-fact, I didn’t even get a photo of Dave, as his back was turned most of the time, engrossed in the music, which was a shame, or he’s camera shy? Grahame, however, is the complete opposite and is the perfect front man. I could see the excitement on his face, even between tracks, or during the guitar solo’s, he was posing for the cameras, pulling faces and generally enjoying himself and why not! With so much energy I did struggled to lock focus, but I think you’ll agree, the shots I did get, Grahame’s personality certainly comes through.


General


Musically, I thought these guys really rocked the house tonight and with Rock City full of spectators, they too showed their appreciation. With so much positive energy being directed towards the band, I truly believe this fueled them to rock harder with every track played. I’ll certainly be buying a copy of their album “Where Are Your Gods Now?”


Set list tonight consisted of: 1. New River  2. Make Or Breakdown  3. Better Dead  4. Hell In Your Eyes  5. Monkey City  6. Bullet Train


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