The Lemonheads

The last of the original Lemonheads, Evan Dando has been through a lot in the last decade or so after becoming yet another casualty to the "next Kurt Cobain" hype machine. He got clean, got married, released a widely underappreciated solo effort (Baby I'm Bored) and even fronted the MC5 for a 41-show tour last year. The fact that the Lemonheads' first record in just as long is self-titled represents a new beginning, a second shot at the big time. For the occasion, Dando recruited from the Descendents' rhythm section and enlisted a slew of A-list musicians, including the Band's Garth Hudson on Hammond B3 ("December") and J Mascis' (Dinosaur Jr.) usual six-string schizophrenia for "Steve's Boy" and "No Backbone." The results sound mostly like a trip through 1998's The Best of the Lemonheads: The Atlantic Years, which is not necessarily a bad thing. "Become the Enemy" and "Baby's Home" offer some Meat Puppets-era country-fried guitar lines, while "Let's Just Laugh" creates a familiar sense of isolation through a Sonic Youth-style wall of noise. It's like Dando smirks in the opener "Black Gown:" "If it ain't fixed, don't break it."
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Austin Powell

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