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Review of The Lemonheads
by Kenneth Partridge

From Connecticut Music, 5th October 2006

The first Lemonheads record in 10 years makes a great case for meat and potatoes, verses and choruses, distortion pedals and minimal production.

Led by singer, guitarist and lone permanent member Evan Dando, the group reaches back a decade or so, revisiting the kind of melodic, guitar-driven alt rock that likely blared as folks first parked themselves in front of their PCs, lattes in hand, and dialed up primitive versions of the Internet.

Despite obvious mid-'90s leanings, though, the pop-punk likes of "Black Gown" and "No Backbone" are welcome and refreshing. "Rule of Three," built around a tried-and-true ascending chord progression, rubs the same cranial pleasure zones that go all tingly when early Beatles songs come on the radio.

There's also a slight country feel to some of the songs, which fits well with Dando's monotonic, though not mono-emotional, singing style. "Become the Enemy," in particular, would sound natural coming from a guy in boots and a hat.

On "Pittsburgh," perhaps the disc's strongest tune, Dando warns against taking life too seriously, insisting, "With a little bit of common sense, you can lose a lot of innocence in this world."

The music bears him out, its simplicity and familiarity by far its greatest assets.

 

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