Daily Archives: January 24, 2011

467. Lemonheads – “Hate Your Friends”

This is a rare album in my collection in that whenever I hear a track off it at random I really can’t work out who it is.

There is very little to connect this debut release to the subsequent breakthrough works from Evan Dando and associates.

Back in the day, the Lemos where yet another hardcore-ish punk band, trying to channel some of that Hüsker Dü energy.

They don’t hit any such heights however. They are a little closer to the Descendents in that the tracks scream along at rapid pace (and for short periods – most tracks run less than 90 seconds).  The songwriting has occasional moments where it steps beyond the simple.

As suits the genre, the sillier tracks have gre atersticking power (e.g. Rabbit and the charmingly Sid Vicious-does-My-Way-like version of a ‘classic’ I’ve heard far too often during my reviews, namely Amazing Grace).

What is missing here is any real hint of the softly slacker Dando voice.  He shares vocal duties from track to track, but it’s a struggle to pick which ones are his.  He doesn’t even take lead on the best track on the album:

So don’t pick up this album expecting to hear jangle-pop – it’s just low-rent punk.

File under: But there’s not much to like about them

466. Led Zeppelin – “Led Zeppelin IV”

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

It has taken four albums, but I’m finally hearing the Zep I expected. Here are the big riffs, the killer tracks that I’ve always associated with these big-haired, snake-hipped gentlemen.

It’s so very hard to argue with an album that opens with Black Dog with its near perfect call and response between lead guitar and vocals, and power-drumming to get anyone bashing the chopsticks on the table.

The fact that Rock & Roll follows immediately justifies the fact we own this album on both CD and LP.  The album understandably tapers off for a little from there on.

I was pleasantly surprised that the much overrated (and belittled) Stairway to Heaven doesn’t sound anywhere near as pompous in its natural setting.  In fact it seems relatively subdued (of course mentioning said song justifies one more cover clip – this time some girly indie-pop):

The album keeps it kicking along with the surprisingly funky Misty Mountain Hop, and then mellows out in the folky Going to California.

Having worked through our personal Zeppelin odyssey, I must declare this the pick of the bunch… and acknowledge Mr. Leonard Teale’s rightful ownership of the best Stairway rendition:

File under: The hep zep