Review of The Lemonheads
by Sam Gnerre

From The Daily Breeze, 6th October 2006

Singer-songwriter and free spirit Evan Dando led the Lemonheads to considerable success on the indie/college circuit in the early 1990s, peaking with the "It's a Shame About Ray" album in 1992.

After disbanding the group in 1997, he became a vagabond (some would say "party animal") with little interest in recording, an attitude hinted at in the title of his 2003 solo album, "Baby I'm Bored."

Now, he and longtime Lemonheads collaborator Tom Morgan have resurrected the band in conjunction with former Descendents rhythm section Bill Stevenson and Karl Alvarez. This eponymous album does something that few reunion projects (other than the rejuvenated Go-Betweens) can claim: it picks up right where the band left off 10 years ago.

Dando's vocals sound as assured and polished as ever, blending seamlessly with the band's crisp playing on uptempo tracks such as "In Passing" and Stevenson's "Become the Enemy."

Dando seems to have had some female trouble along the way: The dysfunctional marriage described in "Baby's Home" ends with disturbingly violent imagery, and the lyrics to "December" are equally bitter.

The guitar-centric music on "The Lemonheads" has considerable bite, thanks to co-producers Dando and Stevenson. While not an out-and-out triumph, it's a welcome return to form that makes one want to hear more from this version of the band.

3 stars

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