Review of The Lemonheads
by Alex Brown
From The Dickensonian, September 2006
If you haven’t heard of the Lemonheads, it’s understandable. They made a splash in 1992 with a hit cover of “Mrs. Robinson,” but the band hasn’t released a full album in a decade, as a result of front man Evan Dando seemingly falling off the face of the earth in 1997. Dando’s done some solo work since then and in 2005 he reformed the Lemonheads with several new members (like he did in 1996) drawn primarily from the punk band Descendents.
The time off must have been good for Dando, because The Lemonheads is a truly enjoyable album from start to finish. Though it starts to feel a little repetitive after the midway point, each track is fun and accessible and can stand on its own. Quick drumbeats and hand claps fill the record with a consistent energy and Dando’s smoky, laid-back vocals are complemented excellently by terrific guitar riffs.
The Lemonheads has several especially listenable cuts. The album starts out strong with “Black Gown,” a speedy track featuring Garth Hudson of the Band on keyboards. Next, Dando slows down to admonish a friend on the first single (and one of the best tracks), “Become The Enemy.” The catchy and confessional “Pittsburgh” is a solid tribute to the city. The depressing lyrics of “No Back Bone” and “Steve’s Boy” are brightened with the cheerful guitar work of Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis. Lastly, The Lemonheads finishes up with the a lengthy jam on “December.”
If you like Beck, Ben Kweller and/or the Killers, then you should give The Lemonheads a listen. The album hits stores this week, and Dickinson students can put an order in for it at the bookstore. Assumably, it’ll also be available for downloading in the iTunes store, or you could theoretically pirate it illegally, but you wouldn’t do that, would you? It would make you a criminal. You’re not a criminal, are you?