The Lemonheads

Studio Album by released in 2006

The Lemonheads review

The first Lemonheads’ release within a last decade

The Lemonheads’ history goes back to mid 80s when the band has announced itself for the first time as a young promising punk outfit. The highest raise of its popularity the band has achieved at the turn of the decades, especially due to the album of 1992 It’s A Shame About Ray. By that time The Lemonheads were generally associated with only one name – Evan Dando. Being a vocalist and a guitar player Dando has always had the leading positions and after changes among band’s musicians he became the only Lemonheads’ ideologist. Under the influence of Dando’s love to folk and country music the band was slowly receding from its punk roots drifting in the pop direction. Releasing an album a year and sometimes a couple they had finally stopped in the 1996 with Car Button Cloth, mainly because of Dando’s problems with drugs. He had a long break but in the end Dando resolves to reanimate The Lemonheads. The new self-titled album is a really unexpected occasion. It seems like Evan Dando was probing the stage with his solo, downbeat, folk albums under his own name during past few years, to bash out a fast-paced pop-punk record in true Lemonheads fashion.

The Lemonheads is having a rock blast

The Lemonheads, co-produced by Dando and Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson who has also co-wrote several songs here, tears through its 11 tracks with an animated sound sure to please old fans and new alike. Tracks such as the soaring Black Gown and powerpop anthem No Backbone are brawny, tuneful and infectious. The partnership with the punk veterans presented here by foregoing Stevenson and his Descendents colleague bassist Karl Alvarez has filled the album with really living and enthusiastic spirit. After previous Dando’s acoustic guitar songs The Lemonheads is clearly having a blast of solid rock with a lot of key changes, riffs and bridges. Luckily Dando has kept his a peculiar gift for writing rock songs that sound as if they're covers of country songs and this makes the album an actual reunion of the band rather than a stand alone release between years of silence. This is vividly demonstrated here in Poughkeepsie or December, which are an example of Dando’s musical potency.

Evan Dando still likes to fool about

As a whole The Lemonheads is a likable, cogent album of adult punk-pop that matches Dando's easygoing voice with genial fuzz-rock. And while this is most certainly not the old loud punk, Mr. Dando and The Lemonheads have managed to implant some spirit from the band’s kernel punk roots on their today’s music. The Lemonheads is one of Dando’s most major steps – it’s his first using the band’s name in a decade where he presents himself to the public revived and cleared up. It's a treat to see Dando recapture the vibe he very nearly got famous on - all the old tricks, just with more riffs and bigger amps. Plus, he still likes to fool about: everyone else writes angry songs about the Bush administration nowadays; his reaction about this is called "Let’s Just Laugh", because, as Dando himself sings, "We can never do anything about anything anyway." He writes the same candied up-tempo hooks, and he still takes his voice up into a higher register when he wants to create the illusion of the last verse of a song being more exciting. Though it is hard to say that The Lemonheads is full of ground shaking hits it still a nice and good release which especially interesting for old The Lemonheads fans.