Review Summary: Clashing taxonomy & candid survival.
For one thing, this album was produced by a 10cc guy, so it isn't garage or punk, nor is it hard rock-ish as some taggers say. If you guessed some kind of pop, then you might be correct - although not in the way you think you are. Actually, what comes out of Pleasant Dreams traces back to what differentiated the Ramones in comparison with some Brit contemporaries.
The Ramones were never bannermen of ground zero or the new beginning, for they did not break anything - except perhaps the grandiose routes popular music was taking back then. The declarations recovered demands of the following type: We just wanna hang around Bleecker, to party with blitz and 53rd titles in order to jingle the parents or status quo on the surface, 'cause in truth we are just bored youth - misfits who formed a band. These notions, after being embellished with a deep longing for the type of radio music the 50s and early 60s had to offer, contradicted the vague experiment of the hippie movement and paved a proximal... grounded rebellion. In musical essence, they gave the finger to the technical disposition hard bands were exhibiting during the early 70s; 'cause if it were to go on forever, the Ramones couldn't have merited a chance, could they?
Eventually, four albums plus one with strings pared down the raw aspect that had once revitalized their bubble gum rock and these dudes went for survival. However, they did so in a way that was fundamentally based on the 3 chords approach, more produced perhaps but even so, the principle of "ye, still fooling around the corner, it is just that we're a bit older" was ever-present at the background. Sure, the opening riff wanna pop metal, or pop whatever the next hip thing would be according to record company, yet the pedigree of the album wouldn't allow that without a fight. In other words, the Ramones couldn't help grasping their roots. As a result, an ironic, almost bitter sweet defense mechanism blankets the various plans the producer or company had at first and marks an entertainment plus in my books. "...mister Programmer, I got my hammer and I'm gonna smash my radio... we want the airwaves". Even so, the [Gouldman's idea?] overdubs and all the backing oh-oh-nos that came out, gave proof of greasers born late, not 80s posers; therefore, the guitars being more distorted or flangier in 81 won't bluff me out.
On the whole, if you're still looking for a punk statement it should boil down to: It's not their place in the nine to five world. That's what The Ramones were always about; you either accept it or you don't dig. Certainly, the whole thing sounded more pertinent when they debuted, but still, it's amusing to witness the thirty something scarecrow and corvines, putting aside natural differences - getting along. After all, a shared core perspective while going for airwaves did accidentally provide - Why do you think this album couldn't climb the charts in 81? - long forgotten 3 minute rock & roll... or pop... or...
Oh, come again guys? These used to be the same thing once? Yep, I hear ya Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny... genre tagging sucks.