Dead Kennedys “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables”

I was never that crazy about this record, or the DK’s, except in theory– I like the political stuff, though, now, in retrospect, it doesn’t seem extreme ENOUGH. This came out in 1981, so a lot of it has the classic hardcore sound which I was never that into. Now it sounds kind of good, though– I mean the super fast songs where the drummer can’t really keep up and it’s too fast to really totally stay together. It’s kind of charming.

A lot of this record is pretty standard rock’n’roll sped up, and surf, and rockabilly, but extreme. It sounds a little dated now, even. Or maybe it’s just that a few of the songs were so overplayed they exist more gracefully in the memory.

Of course you have to be happy Jello Biafra exists. That’s one of the all time great punk names, too. Though I liked the name East Bay Ray even more. I was jealous– I wanted to steal it. Maybe I still will.

Listening to this now, I feel like I can hear what the problem is– why I don’t like, musically, what I don’t like. It’s because there are a lot of rock’n’roll clichés, for one thing, and then a lot of it is just too fast– and there’s no groove. The one song that really stands out to me now as one I want to listen to over and over is “Let’s Lynch the Landlord.” I think that’s because it’s a little slower, and it’s the one with the groove.

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February 2007
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