As some of you may know, I did the review of Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables. The band history is a direct copy-paste of the history of the other one. So I am not a cheater.
Some Band History
DEAD KENNEDYS were one of the most popular and important American hardcore punk bands of the late '70s/early '80s. They formed in San Francisco in 1978 when EAST BAY RAY placed an ad in a music paper that vocalist JELLO BIAFRA responded to. They were soon joined by bassist KLAUS FLOURIDE, drummer TED and a second guitarist known to posterity simply as 6025. The latter departed in March 1979, while Ted was replaced at the very end of 1980 by D.H. PELIGRO.
Dead Kennedys' early success led them to record their first single, "California ‹ber Alles," in 1979, a blistering attack on the then governor of California, Jerry Brown. It was released on their own label in the USA, Alternative Tentacles Records, set up by East Bay Ray. That single was later issued in Britain on the indie label Fast Products. "Holiday in Cambodia" (1980) followed and is perhaps the band's definitive moment - a perfect mix of hilarious yuppie-baiting lyrics and evil-sounding music. Almost as essential were "Kill the Poor" (1980) and "Too Drunk to ***" (remarkably, a British Top 40 single in 1981) and the debut LP, FRESH FRUIT FOR ROTTING VEGETABLES (1980). That LP went on to be awarded a Gold Record in Britain.
Underpinned by an acute sense of humor, early songs such as "Let's Lynch the Landlord," "I Kill Children" and "Chemical Warfare" satirized the twin elements of extreme violence and conservatism that characterize much of American life. Dead Kennedys' inflammatory name and provocative behavior (in one 1979 prank, Biafra ran for mayor of San Francisco - and came in fourth) attracted the attention of a number of far-right politico-religious groups. The band's problems with these self-appointed moral guardians were compounded by a confrontational relationship with US authorities, ensuring an aggressive police presence at most of their gigs.
But the band continued to expand their audience by playing at a mix of underground venues in different corners of the USA and Canada. They did their first British tour in late 1980, which established the band there as a figurehead for an audience long deprived of the Pistols, Biafra stage-diving to great enthusiasm. Dead Kennedys went on to tour worldwide, covering the continents of North America, Europe and Australia.
The eight-track EP, IN GOD WE TRUST, INC. (1981), took things further, boasting a speed and power that left most reviewers nonplussed and contemporaries trailing. The EP included a wild cover of "Rawhide" and "Nazi Punks, *** Off," an anti-violence paean. The band then changed musical gears again when the PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS appeared in late 1982. Their 2nd best album, this fine collection of songs retained the trademark savagery and satire, but the musical content had diversified, even including such unexpected moments as Klaus Flouride playing clarinet. Featured were the singles "Bleed for Me" and "Halloween," and it also included "Moon Over Marin," as close as Dead Kennedys ever came to a ballad, albeit with anti-pollution lyrics.
Dead Kennedys played their last show in March of 1986 in the San Francisco Bay Area, where they began. GIVE ME CONVENIENCE OR GIVE ME DEATH, a fantastic collection of their classic early singles and B sides, rare tracks and compilation tracks, was released in 1987.
The Dead Kennedys were...
Jello Biafra - Vocals
East Bay Ray - Guitar
Klaus Flouride - Bass
D.H. Peligro - Drums
PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS
Advice From Christmas Past
- This is a very funny intro. It's a woman talking and she's pretty much calling you an asshole. Behind the words is crazy music playing. No rhythm, just craziness. I'm not going to give this a rating, simply because it isn't a song.
- This song starts off with a cool guitar riff provided by Ray. Then before you know it, the traditional punk beat comes in. Then Jello puts on this strange voice and says, "We've got a drug that will make youy a little sick." This song rocks. It's definitley one of my favorite songs on the album. The chorus also carries the song well. Truly a highlight of the album. 9/10
- The song opens with a kickass bass line. Then goes into a mess of hysterical and sarcstic lyrics. The song sounds very angry, even though it cracks me up every time I hear it. It's like the ultimate anthem against all you "Abercrombie Whores" out there. Not the girls though, just the dudes. Anyway, the song goes over the basic ignorance of a prep, and what they do with it. One of my favorites on the album. 10/10
Trust Your Mechanic
- In the intro, the drum beat is sick. The guitar fallows Jello's voice as he screams, "THEY RIP YOU OFF!". But when you think the song is over, it goes into a really cool bridge, where Jello whispers what mechanics do to you, such as fix something, but then theres another problem. Then back to the original tempo. Then to the bridge again. It's strange, no not starnge. Unique. 8/10
Well Paid Scientist
- This song starts off, once again with the bass playing it's riff. This song has the classic punk feel. It doesn't have a chorus. The song is also extremely angry, but still kicks ass. I also really like how Jello says "Punch the clock" Why not punch your boss"! Then it goes out with Jello screaming "WHEN WILL YOU CRACK"! Great song, and I'm sure I will have this stuck in my head when I'm at my next job. 9/10
- This song starts off with an insane drum roll, provided by D.H. Peligro. Wow, what can I say. This song owns. I like how as Jello delivers his words, they actually have backround vocals. This is the first time I've ever heard that listening to Dead Kennedys. The guitar is also crazy after the chorus. Jello also gives one of the best percussion-on-the-back vocal deliveries I have ever heard. This is definitley a highlight of the album. 10/10
- This is a very sarcastic song. It's hysterical in that way. The intro is what changes is from every other song on the album. The intro sets the song up like a story. The guitar halfway through is also great. If you've never heard a Dead Kennedys song, hear this first. It's a classic DK feel. It's novelistic, sarcastic, and great music to back it up. Highlight of the album. 9/10
- This song starts off with screaming and heavy guitar. Then it all slows down as the lyrics come in. Then the lyrics get all sarcastic as Jello begins talking about how people plan for Halloween all year. Then the addictive riff comes back up but not for too long as the verse begins again. Then the song begins to talk about how Haloween is a gigantic deal in the eyes of all of your associates. Great lyrics and delivery. 8/10
- The song begins with a cool guitar riff then goes into great lyrics about going to the forest in a rolling house. But the one line that gets me hysterical is "...Feed Doritos to the bears". Mainly though, the song is about going there and pretty much ruining the lush land, and vegetation of the forest. Great lyrics and a good point give this song a... 9/10
- This is my favorite song on the album and as I wrote a rediculus amount for California Uber Alles on the other review, I'll do the same here. Anyway, this is my favorite song on the album. It has a really long intro that is just a simple riff played over and over again. Then Jello comes in with great lyrics. So far the song sounds really unorganized. Then the chorus comes in a displays some of the best lyrics on the album. "Riot - the unbeatable high / Riot - shoots your nerves to the sky / Riot - playing into their hands / Tomorrow youíre homeless / Tonight itís a blast"! The song doesn't lose it's adrenaline rush feel at all in the main part of the song. Then it gets quiet and Jello whispers "sh!t". Then he explains in a scream about how the National Guards completley slaughtered the riot crowd. Then the song has one of the greatest outros ever. Jello says "Tomorrow you're homeless, Tonight is a blast", over and over again. But the cool part is that every time he says it, the mood shifts. Like the emphasis of happiness is on "Tonight Is A Blast!" then it switches. "Tommorow You're Homeless" gets sadder, and the latter gets less convincing, like an infomercial. This is definitley one of my favorie Dead Kennedys songs ever. 10/10
Bleed For Me
- This song begins with a pounding bass line. It's so damn fast. Then it all slows and goes into the verse. The tempo seems to be perfect. The song is a little gruesome. It's Jello screaming "BLEEEEED FOR MEEEEE"! It's pretty cool but sounds too much like a song The Misfits would do. But it all slows down and Jello gets to make a few statements about the bad government. Mediocre song at best. There's better stuff here. 7/10
I Am The Owl
- The bass line is once again, the intro and then goes into infectious riffs by EastBayRay. The song is pretty slow, which is good for being at this point of the album. I need a break from the faster stuff, and that's what I get here. It's a pretty cool song. It really is about nothing. But it's still a cool song. Not my favorite, it sounds like filler though. Nothing special. 7/10
- The intro is finally different from all of the other tracks. Not to mention that this song was written by East Bay Ray. It's pretty good also. It's not my favorite but it's a really good effort and they are finally taking a break from the political lyrics. But I do like how the song ends with Jello screaming, "DEAD END"! Pretty good song but still not nearly as good as the previous songs. 8/10
Moon Over Marin
- Now before I start, I just want you to know that this is the closest thing they ever had to a ballad. It sounds all jolly. The song is cool. It's a really cool thing the band did by trying something completley different. Might I also mention, that this is the last track on PLASIC SURGERY DISASTERS. It's a cool and different ending to a great album that just barely gets beaten by "Fresh Fruit...". But don't go away, I still need to review "IN GOD WE TRUST. INC.". 9/10
IN GOD WE TRUST. INC.
(all of the songs are like a minute long. So therefore all the reviews will be shorter also)
- This is the first song off of the cd and it's about how religion sucks. I like how fast the lyrics are delivered and how Jello imitates vomiting in the middle. Good stuff. 9/10
- I hate the music in this song but I love the lyrics. The song is a gigantic $#@BLAM!@$ against Jehovas Witnesses. It's awesome and funny at the same time. 9/10
- Clocking in at :37 seconds, I really can say much. I can't really hear the lyrics. But it's still fast and cool. 8/10
- IMO, it's the worst song here. It's about workin in a factory and inhaling fumes and it gets you ill. Stupid message. I personally hate the song. 5/10
- Am extremely fast song. It's good like that. The lyrics leave much to be desired though. 8/10
Nazi Punks *** Off
- Boy, is this a song to live by. The lyrics rule and so does the music. I also stand for the message, being a Jew. This is also a huge #@$BLAM!@# on nazis. 10/10
We've Got A Bigger Problem Now
- This is a sequel to my favorite DK song, California Uber Alles. It starts off with a cool Jazz intro. The Jazziness stays and gives lyrics in the style of CUA except they're different. Then after a jazz chorus of CUA, It breaks out into craziness. It kicks sooooooo much ass. Then it's California Uber Alles with different lyrics. It's amazing. Then Jello gets back into the jazz feel. Then the bridge for CUA comes in with slightly different lyrics. All I can say is that it sounds angry, awesome, and unexpected. Best song on the EP. 10/10
- Nothing more than a re-make of the classic country song.
+ Dude, it's the Dead Kennedys, thats a pro in its own.
+ Great Bass & Guitar
+ Lyrics are byfar some of the best I've heard
+ Comes with In God We Trust. INC!
- The only thing I can think of is the production quality.
Recommended Tracks, AKA: The Fantastic Four
We've Got A Bigger Problem Now
*if you liked my review please YES it.