Review of The Lemonheads
by Grant Kempster
From The Works, October 2006
A welcome return.
At the close of their set at 1997's Reading Festival, Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando announced that he was disbanding the group before uttering something about being 'undeserving' and leaping into the crowd. What followed would be a year away from the music scene for the troubled singer. A subsequent marriage, solo album and US tours with the likes of MC5 served to reignite the fires of Dando's talent and so, finally, we have a new album.
Given that Dando's constantly evolving Lemonheads line-up has been off the scene for nearly a decade, it's incredible that upon listening to their new album it feels as if they have never been away. The marketing machine for this self-titled release announces that, 'you can think of the new album as a Best Of The Lemonheads Volume 2', and for once that's not hyperbole.
Despite all the tracks being brand new, each clearly draws inspiration from the group's 10 year back catalogue, with tracks such as album opener 'Black Gown' seemlessly splicing sounds last heard on fourth album Lovey with the infectious pop of their later work on Car Button Cloth.
Gone are the occasional ego-centric experimentations and self-loathing lyrics, leaving a perfectly filtered Lemonheads sound that produces melodic endorphins guaranteed to make you smile.
Top of the list are upcoming single 'Become The Enemy', the incredibly catchy 'No Backbone' and the Nick Cave-esque country murder song 'Baby's Home' ("although my heart's hurtin', my shotgun is workin', and it packs one hell of a surprise").
The Lemonheads is undoubtedly a grower, but by the time you've listened to it more than once you'll be singing along with it as if it was one of your oldest and most treasured album.
The verdict: A sugar rush of an LP that will leave you craving more.