Certain General is an American post-punk
band formed in 1980 by Parker Dulany, Phil Gammage
, Marcy Saddy, and Russell Berke. BOMP! Records has called them "NYC's 80's cult favorite,
while Rock & Folk
identified the band as "the bridge between Television
In the liner notes for Introduction to War (2001), their former manager, Stephen Graziano, called them, "...the baddest, craziest, most misbehaved but mind bendingly brilliant band that was walking the Earth." This coincides with Mojo
magazine's assessment that "the story of Certain General is one of triumph, tragedy, and often dazzling music."'
Drawing on a tradition established by New York rock bands such as the Velvet Underground
, Certain General has recorded and performed extensively in the United States and Europe. Although various personnel and label changes have occurred over the years, Dulany and Gammage, along with Kevin Tooley, continue to record and perform.
With one foot firmly planted in the post-punk sound of the late seventies and the other in the emerging new wave
, at the outset, Certain General's quirky, kinetic, rhythm and sound owed more to the "dead disco and happening hip-hop,"
as parleyed by such emerging New York entities as James Chance
and the Contortions
than the moody, psychedelia-gone-mad direction that would follow. However, from the start, their unique mix of evocative lyrics and a consistently frenetic live show quickly earned the band widespread acclaim when they began to play shows in 1981. As Boston Rock
noted at the time, they were "superbly energetic, the last time the band played here the crowd almost tore the walls down."
New York rock critic heavyweight Christgau
from the Village Voice
weighed in that the band produced "rolling, ambitious, somewhat mannered art pop that is totally original."
And his colleague, Van Gosse, maintained that "this band so fervent and young has come to stand for something.
That notoriety would eventually extend to Europe, where they would release November's Heat in 1984. Considered a seminal album of the 1980s and one of the defining New York rock records, November's Heat would earn the band many accolades, especially in France. In 1995, Rock & Folk
called it "one of the most important albums made between 1965 and 1995."