Review of The Lemonheads
by T.J. Hart
From Sound Generator, 1st November 2006
After his solo effort three years ago in the form of the excellent "Baby I'm Bored" troubadour Evan Dando has kept a relatively low profile. This, their seventh album, involves a change of personnel with two members of the Descendents: drummer Bill Stevenson and guitarist Karl Alvarez. The result is a nostalgic trip back to the early 90's, recalling their breakthrough album "It's a shame about Ray" and the slightly disappointing "Come on feel the Lemonheads".
As ever with Dando's music there is minimal departure from what he has always practiced, leaving little room for innovation on these simple three-minute tracks. However, whereas previous albums have produced their fair share of disappointing fillers - as well as melodic offerings - with this offering Dando maintains the quality. Album opener "Black Gown" is an exhilarating burst of energy, like a high tempo 'Rudderless' but with a surprisingly large amount of chord changes, bridges and varied verses. First single "Become the Enemy" highlights his near perfect country-pitched vocals and elsewhere, "Poughskeepsie", "Rule of Three" and "In Passing" could easily slot into "It's a Shame about Ray". The experimentation on the subtle Bush critique 'Lets Just Laugh' and the guitar feedback of J. Mascis on No Backbone are other particular highlights.
The Lemonheads have produced something which goes beyond simple nostalgia; they now have a real possibility of opening up their sound to a new alliance of fans.