The Lemonheads - Lovey Music Album Reviews

The Lemonheads - Lovey Music Album Reviews
Thirty years after alt rock reshaped the mainstream, Evan Dando and co.’s major-label debut feels like the product of a bygone era—a snapshot of rock regionalism on its last legs.

Just as Evan Dando’s long relationship with substance abuse began in earnest, the Lemonheads were swept up in the major-label slog to distill and globalize grunge music en masse. Atlantic Records took a chance signing the frenetic Boston punk band with 1990’s Lovey, a risk predicated on some local buzz and the beguiling allure of Dando’s cleft chin. The album set the mold for the group’s jangly, hard-edged sound through the 1990s and beyond, but when weighed against the blitzed hardcore of their three preceding LPs, Lovey feels tentative, like a prototype alt-rock aggregate targeted at drunk BU kids unhip to the burgeoning sound of Seattle.
Lovey arrived at the precipice of Dando’s celebrity bullshit, preceding his entanglements with Kate Moss and Johnny Depp and a well-documented drug habit. For that reason, it occupies a unique position in the Lemonheads’ catalog as their most notable pivot. Falling at the crossroads of rowdy college rock and commercial slacker rock, the album is a vapid vessel null of concept or premise, the tempered segue between the rabid chaos of their first three releases and the polished radio rock yet to come. When you look at the tracklist and see a song called “Stove,” guess what? It’s about a stove. Dig into the album’s Bleach-esque opener, “Ballarat,” and you’ll find a teenager’s fascination with Charles Manson. The wah-pedal grunge of “Lil Seed” is a callow ode to weed. There’s no greater point to be gleaned from these songs, but their indifference is familiar and endearing, a testament to alternative rock at its most blithely inconsequential.

Fire Records’ 30th anniversary 2xLP/CD reissue supplements the remastered album with a collection of interviews, unseen photos, and an additional disc with a scrappy live performance from Live at the Wireless, recorded in Sydney and broadcast by Triple J in July 1991. The accompanying book weaves an oral history documenting the Lemonheads’ gradual emergence in Boston through the late ’80s and includes accounts from ex-bandmates Jesse Peretz, drummer David Ryan, guitarist Corey “Loog” Brennan, and producer Paul Q. Kolderie. Spliced with Dando’s press-circuit interviews, these insights offer a strikingly candid look into his ascent to fame: the lost chapters of an irresistibly problematic man ambling down a path of reckless abandon.

There are only two unifying themes, the more pungent of which is the olfactory nuance of Budweiser and half-smoked Marlboro Reds; the second is the gruff, unadulterated presence of its author, his gravelly croon at his most melodic yet. The absence of co-songwriter and second lead singer Ben Deily following 1989’s Lick permitted Dando the space to diversify, which he does by name-checking Jesus on the crawling “Ride With Me,” a master template for every post-grunge band sniffing out a slot on Buzz Ballads. Even with a hammy guitar-hero performance on the protracted album closer “[The] Door,” the band feels closer to the Pacific Northwest melodrama of Dirt than to fellow Boston scensters Bullet LaVolta and Big Dipper.

As gleaned from the book’s narrative, Dando’s split influences present themselves unadorned. Back-end songs like “Left for Dead”' and “Come Downstairs” stem from the Bob Mould school of three-minute songs with 50 chord changes. He showcases his reverence for California drug guys with an amiable cover of Gram Parsons’ “Brass Buttons”; Live at the Wireless yields a similarly warmhearted performance of Big Star’s “Nighttime.”

Most people don’t know this, but Boston was the best city to start a rock band in the 1980s, back before its soaring real estate market relegated punk rock to the catacombs of Jamaica Plain and Allston, a time when the dissolution of Mission of Burma inspired a generation of kids to fill the gaping void. As is true with many of their contemporaries at that time, the Lemonheads were a guileless snapshot of rock regionalism on its last legs. At heart, the deluxe reissue of Lovey is a spiffy vestige of a bygone era, and if Dando managed to make any sort of statement with it, it’s how beneficial it can be to fuck around in your hometown before selling out.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Lemonheads - Lovey Music Album Reviews The Lemonheads - Lovey Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, November 06, 2020 Rating: 5

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