Review of The Lemonheads
by Darryl Sterdan
From The London Free Press, Ontario October 2006
When Evan Dando says, "If it ain't fixed, don't break it," he knows what he's talking about. The Lemonheads frontman has been out of the spotlight for most of the last decade, but the dude hasn't changed a bit. Just check out his newly reconstituted band's self-titled comeback album -- their first since 1996's Car Button Cloth -- and hear for yourself. He's still got the shaggy surfer-dude locks. He still strums his guitar and sings like a slacker who just woke up and hasn't swept out the cobwebs. And now that he's cleaned up his druggy ways, he still writes some of the prettiest pop melodies and hooks this side of Elvis Costello. On this 11-song set, Descendants drummer Bill Stevenson and bassist Karl Alvarez add their post-punk propulsion to the mix, moving the sound closer to the band's louder, faster beginnings than their latter-day folk-pop. Guitarist J Mascis, Gibby Haynes and Band organist Garth Hudson drop by to add a few licks here and there, too. But this is still Dando's show -- and cuts such as the twangy two-stepper Poughkeepsie, the punchy Rule of Three, the R.E.M.ish In Passing and the murderous Baby's Home make it clear he doesn't need to fix his music. Or break it. He just needs to make it more often.