The Lemonheads - The Lemonheads (Cover Artwork)

The Lemonheads

The Lemonheads: The LemonheadsThe Lemonheads (2006)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: ScruffyScruffy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It seems that Lemonheads fans are few and far between these days. Maybe it's because most of those I converse with were the same ten years old I was when their breakthrough album, It's a Shame About Ray, was released. Maybe it's their sound, which one of my friends derisively refers to as "the punk .
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It seems that Lemonheads fans are few and far between these days. Maybe it's because most of those I converse with were the same ten years old I was when their breakthrough album, It's a Shame About Ray, was released. Maybe it's their sound, which one of my friends derisively refers to as "the punk rock Archies." Suffice it to say, out of my day-to-day acquaintances, I know few, if any, excited about this "reunion" of sorts that Evan Dando has put together with the Lemonheads. I have no idea why.

For starters, I am glad this album came out because, were the Lemonheads to never release another thing again, this is a much better epilogue to such a storied career than 1996's Car Button Cloth. The Lemonheads has an incredibly varied sound on it, heavier than anything from the poppier years of the Lemonheads' existence, and yet just as catchy. There's a bite to the sweetness that was lacking in their last few, most popular albums.

The album opens with two very memorable numbers, "Black Gown" and "Become the Enemy," the latter sounding like a mix between Come On Feel-era Lemonheads and Dan Andriano's songs on the Alkaline Trio album Good Mourning, with a chorus reminiscent of Drag the River. In fact, fans of both of those bands would do well to buy this album, as the sonic kinship does not end with that song. Both bands would undoubtedly proclaim the Lemonheads as an influence, and you can see why with these songs.

"Poughkeepsie" is a great song, but it isn't until the one-two punch of "No Backbone" and "Baby's Home" that this album really, truly demands to be heard. "No Backbone," featuring J. Mascis on guitar and easily the high point of the album, is a tale of a relationship dulled by time ("The bedroom ritual, a simple way to feel without running the risk of anything real ever being given, ever being shown. Back in the bedroom, no backbone."). The guitar work and the level of emotion shown by Dando in the lyrics and vocals helps make "No Backbone" a gripping song.

"Baby's Home" is another high point. It begins as a simple song about a marriage falling apart, but, with the last verse, becomes a folksy murder tale. I'll reveal no more here, but be sure to hear this song.

One more thing I need to mention is the production. The fact that Bill Stevenson constantly puts out quality production work goes without saying, but this album takes the cake. I can't put my finger on exactly what makes it so good, but the production work is so obvious and important that it may as well be considered an instrument.

I had expected to be disappointed by this album. The Lemonheads can be very hit or miss. I was worried there would be little to differentiate this album from Dando's solo work, but Stevenson and Karl Alvarez's contributions clearly made this album worthy of the Lemonheads' name. As far as reunions go, they run the gamit from horrendous to mindblowing, and, while the Lemonheads is neither one nor the other, it is an excellent album that stands out in a year already filled to the brim with great music. I know this sounds like a press release, but I am really so pleased that not only does it not suck, but it's good -- thus, I can't help but recommend it.


People who liked this also liked:
Descendents - Milo Goes To CollegeDescendents - Cool To Be YouAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Clash - London CallingRiverboat Gamblers - To the Confusion of Our EnemiesThe Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home AboutDescendents - Everything SucksThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Weezer - WeezerJawbreaker - Dear You

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
spoon_of_grimbo (July 2, 2010)

just picked this up for £2 used, purely on the strength of the fact that dudes from ALL/descendents played on it. not what i'd been expecting, but really fucking good all the same, and very summery too! me like.

i-type-poorly (September 27, 2007)

This is my first Lemonheads album, and I love it! For this Armchair Martian fan, this is perfection!

notfeelingcreative (October 12, 2006)

Okay, I just got this album in the mail, best thing vagrant has ever released and best lemonheadsnalbum since "lick"!

Not-To-Regret (October 11, 2006)

This is acceptable pop-punk for me. Its good to hear pop-punk that doesnt have predictable vocals and chord progressions. It's not outstanding, but refreshing, the first track is really good.

Anonymous (October 9, 2006)

It's a shame that fans of Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, Blink 182, My Chemical Romance, Mest, and Simple Plan don't have any clue who the Descendents or ALL is and continue to listen to whatever band is the "happening-Thing-Of-The-Year". Pop-Punk is getting worse by the year. In saying this, it's a bit of fresh air to hear an album with 'heart and soul' that has substance which is what most artist lack these days. Great work/production on the the new Lemonheads album.

Anonymous (October 8, 2006)

I haaaaaaveeeeeeee big cccccock i have big cock

notfeelingcreative (October 8, 2006)

"I converse with were the same ten years old I was when their breakthrough album, Itâ??s a Shame About Ray, was released."

Though I was thirteen at the time, I'm glad you didn't post that you were two or three when 'Ray' came out,as I'm sure many people here could! I don't feel so ancient, now!

notfeelingcreative (October 8, 2006)

I just ordered this! I meant to order it sooner, but I wanted to see what people had to say about it, first, I used to love the Lemonheads, but I didn't know how this would hold up to both their older stuff, and to the stuff I've been listening to recently, by all of the great reviews, I decided I need this record.

graphix (October 8, 2006)

I don't think you understand how exact this album is to the very way I feel when I step out of my home every morning in the crisp october air and embark on another day of futile attempts to tackle the man and the very system he has created.

If you want to listen to a CD that will make you hear again for the very first time, check out this one.

Anonymous (October 7, 2006)

i really like this album a lot. my only problem is my favorite songs on the album (steve's boy, become the enemy) were written by BIll Stevenson and should be fucking All songs. Oh well, it is good to hear BIll and Karl play together again.

notfeelingcreative (October 7, 2006)

"My first taste of the Lemons and boy was it sweeet."

That was awesome!

SlackMFr (October 7, 2006)

I agree with Scruffy hardcore! The Lemonheads entire catalog is fucking great and any who think not...it's your loss you can't recognize simple brilliance.

Scruffy (October 7, 2006)

Who cares? I got into them well after anyone stopped caring about Dando. I picked up a tape for $3 because I heard the name when my local NRM closed 5 years ago. I LOVED it. They're good, that's all that matters.

Anonymous (October 7, 2006)

The Lemonheads always sucked. They were overrated and got more press for Evan Dandos looks than his music.

It's a shame not about ray, but that they are wasting silver discs with this crap.

ChokingVictim (October 6, 2006)

I was never a huge Lemonheads fan (the only album I have being Forget About Ray, which I do like a lot) but this album is very good. Good songs, good melodies, good production, just good all around.

joeymagnet (October 6, 2006)

something about hearing a great album being released by a band I used listen the shit out of in my early highschool days that really gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

JoshCBFL (October 6, 2006)

This record is so damn good. I never really listened to the Lemonheads before, but I am going to have to check out their back catalog now.

baseball (October 6, 2006)

first off, i agree that this is one of the best produced albums i've ever heard....i love listening with headphones while i'm at work

the music is just solid through and through, i generally don't skip any tracks with my favorites being "Become The Enemy" (best song Bill Stevenson's wrote), "Let's Just Laugh", "No Backbone", "Baby's Home"

you can definitely hear the influence Stevenson/Alvarez had on this and that's a very good thing

Anonymous (October 6, 2006)

i always loved their cover of Skulls.

Anonymous (October 6, 2006)

This is a really good album, it kind of reminded me of the descendants... don't know if anybody else got that impression, but its good shit........

Anonymous (October 6, 2006)

This and all Lemonheads albums are worth every penny, even the poppier ones. "Hate Your Friends" is fucking stellar though, a punk rock gem it is.

ozmanx (October 6, 2006)

My first taste of the Lemons and boy was it sweeet.

kingofsuck (October 6, 2006)

I haven't gotten this yet, since my car broke down and set me back a few hundred dollars. Hopefully it'll be in my possession soon. A Lemonheads album with involvelment from Bill Stevenson and Karl Alvarez has me very excited.

Scruffy (October 6, 2006)

"can anyone review some pg. 99 records? 5 star minimum please!"

Um, you could.

Anonymous (October 6, 2006)

can anyone review some pg. 99 records? 5 star minimum please!

GlassPipeMurder (October 6, 2006)

where's my briggs review? : (

Anonymous (October 6, 2006)

I had zero expectations for this record, but it will easily make my top 10 for the year.

GlassPipeMurder (October 6, 2006)

yes. this record is so good. my first lemonheads, not to be my last.

Scruffy (October 6, 2006)

I'll be honest. Alvarez has written the lion's share of my favorite Descendents songs, especially off of "Cool To Be You".

rob_rob (October 6, 2006)

all hail stevenson and alveraz!

BrendanKelly (October 6, 2006)


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