The Dictators are notoriously ill-timed. Their debut came out a year before the Ramones. The year they were finishing up Manifest Destiny, their follow-up, the Ramones were working on album #3. The Dictators just missed that wave. They broke up too soon to remain in the popular mind as the music they helped spawn gained in popularity. Now, in the midst of a pandemic that has been particularly hard on musicians, they’re getting the band back together. Well, at least most of it. The 2021 Dictators feature Ross the Boss, Scott Kempner and principal songwriter Andy Shernoff, who sings all the lead parts in the absence of Handsome Dick Manitoba.
Probably none of that matters much to the remaining Dictators as they approach this new song with the same joviality that has marked all of their records over the years. “Let’s Get the Band Back Together” is an high-energy anthem to the continuing impetus to get together and play rock n roll again despite the challenges, both technical (“I can’t even remember the chords”) and historical (“Forget the time that I nailed your wife”). It’s nothing new, but is clear evidence of men who have not grown old despite the years. And they finally beat the Ramones since, God bless them, the Dictators are still alive to get back together.