Tag Archives: descendents

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

414. The Jesus Lizard – “Down”

Sometimes I’ve just bought an album on the basis of distinctive or intriguing cover art, a vague understanding of the band’s reputation, and a few bucks burning a hole in my pocket.

The Jesus Lizard Down album cover dog fallingSuch an alignment of the planets must have happened at the local second-hand store when I purchased this CD.

This is reportedly one of the more listener-friendly of The Jesus Lizard’s early output.  Everything’s relative I guess.

I’ve never had much love for this sort of jarring noise rock.  I do appreciate the punk aesthetic at either end of the spectrum – the trashy, garage sloppiness of the Ramones or the more hard edged, but fast-paced work of the Descendents (and occasionally the Dead Kennedys), but this middle ground leaves me pretty cold.

I don’t get much out of this bass-heavy dirge and David Yow’s awkward vocal stylings.  I guess these guys were influential, as I remember seeing far too many local bands ripping off the sound in the early  ’90s.  I suspect it would have been a lot better to see The Jesus Lizard live than any of them however:

File under: Not one to pick up

218. Descendents – “Somery”

I’m not sure I could be further away from John Denver than today’s album, a greatest hits effort from California hardcore pop punks The Descendents.

I’m pretty sure Denver didn’t pen any tunes about flatulence, coprophagia or whale-sperm on hamburgers, nor did he drop the c-bomb or issue a manifesto stating “thou shalt not commit laundry”.

And it’s his loss.

These guys deliver rapidfire tracks high on angst but with tongues firmly planted in cheeks.

I first became aware of these guys through the embarrassingly influential Pump the Volume flick – this scene in particular:

That tune is one of six on this album that come in at under 45 seconds in length. I like food is similarly catchy, and they manage to pack 19 lines of lyrics into the 43 second I wanna be a bear. The album isn’t all so expeditious. As a compilation, it also captures their adventures into poppier territory, including tracks like Coolidge which are better than much of Green Day‘s output:

I wouldn’t listen to this most days of my life, but if I wanna pogo around the house (or impersonate a young Christian Slater), it’s near the top of my list.

File under: Some tasty flummery

3. All – “Percolater”

Ahhh, West Coast punk… ideal for skating to (I presume) and usually with some pretty heavy doses of humour.

all-percolater1This CD was the 5th album in as many years from the group that rolled out of the end of more legendary punk outfit The Descendents. Not sure when or why I bought this. Looks like it was probably from fantastic second hand store Dixons. The album has the ups and downs you’d expect to see at a skate park (or the moshpit at a gig from these dudes). When it’s good, it’s great. The 3rd track Dot is a wonderful example of pop-punk, with great rolling drums driving the vocals up and down the scales – super catchy.

Alas the rest of the album pales in comparison. There are very too many doodly sound effect driven tracks (think Butthole Surfers without the energy), and then weird ballady type numbers.

Such a shame, they always had such good merch

File under: One killer, rest filler