Review Summary: God told me to skin you alive
Endlessly satirical, memorable, quotable, and most importantly drinkable is the hardcore punk band Dead Kennedys. Their combination of wise sarcasm and Jello Biafra's sharp voice rips through their contemporaries like a flaming sword, and brings along apathy in its highest wildness. Expect upbeat and politically charged songs of enjoyable fury with a classic scratchy punk mastering, but also an extreme rebellion that is perfect for partying. Grab your baseball bats, hard liquor, and start driving down 2nd street knocking over mailboxes with your friends, because Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables is the perfect soundtrack from a band known for it's wild melodies.
Starting from the first vivacious percussional slams to "Kill the Poor", the guitar riffs are to driven to the bone as the album opens its doors to strained confrontation. The presence of rebellion is spread thick across every sense of the album from here. Although it can come across as bitter to some, it was exactly what the Dead Kennedy’s wanted to get across: the brashness of their compositions and the "don't give a fuck" attitude. In-between the words and rousing guitars, mordant themes flavor the album with a great deal to enjoy for almost any listener. Apathy and urgent visceral lyrics mold the songs "Forward to Death" and "When Ya Get Drafted". Haunting guitar lines and argumentative approaches grab the listener by the balls to show exactly whats going on. Dead Kennedy's aren't afraid to speak their mind, and the band turns out to be quite effective in reaching their point. Politics charge the background, and in other areas, songs like "Let’s Lynch The Landlord" are pure rebel entertainment and good entertainment too. All of their songs speak louder than what you would expect from a punk band, they burrow in your skin and have a true effect, and can even make you contemplate your own ideals.
"Drug Me" acts as an ominous piece, soon twirling into another mix beguiling teenage indulgence. The baffled and complex lyrics continue through "Your Emotions" and the album touches raunchy politics with the pouncing attacks of "Chemical Warfare". Nearly every song off the album is an instant classic, catchy, memorable and unique in each way. Every band member has something to show and it sticks like super glue. "California Uber Alles" is a perfect example, the island-influenced guitar along with the barreled, spat-out vocals are contagious and capture that eerie feeling in your gut. The lyrics are just the same, invoking a straight sense of distraught and ominous wonder. The Dead Kennedys touch topics from totalitarianism to drafts and weapons of mass destruction. Other rebel themes, "Stealing Peoples Mail" and "Let’s Lynch the Landlord" are just pure balls to the wall fun for the listener, and "Holiday in Cambodia" is a true and unique punk classic. With its random bursts of off-key guitar, "Holiday in Cambodia" whisks forward with a wonderful guitar melody. The chorus is inimitable and timeless, and Jello Biafra’s vocals command to be laminated in the punk hall of fame. From the final eerie chords of 'Holiday,' the album bursts into "Viva las Vegas", a great finale with ostentatious instrumentation as the guitar and singer give a clever tease of 50’s rock to create Elvis-punk and a song of snide fun. With its cerebral yet anarchic image, Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables proves to be a concrete masterpiece of American punk. Every song is just as extreme and entertaining as the next, and it makes for a perfect album.