Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review #184: Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)


Year: 1980
Genre: Punk Rock
Label: Cherry Red Records

33 Minutes
My Rating:


...DEAD Kennedys were a very political, creative punk rock band that existed from the late '70s to mid '80s (same timeframe as Black Flag), and the band was fronted by the charismatic, very intelligent man known az JELLO "BI AFRO" BIAFRA. They put out some singles in the 1970s with humorously political-centered tunes such as "California Uber Alles" and all that SHIT, and now here's their first full-length album, FRESH FRUIT for ROTTING VEGETABLES!!

1. Kill the Poor
HEEEREZ a nice jolly little tune about killing poor parts of the world with neutron bombs to make more room for fancy hotels and golf courses! WHAT FUN. Even liberals are wimps, too! Everyone sing along with me -- KILLKILLKILLKILL THE POOR! KILLKILLKILLKILLKILL THE POOR TONI-I-I-I-IGHT! The beginning part is slow, but then it gets a bit faster.

2. Forward to Death
Even faster, eh? This song's about somebody who's so bored of life in capitalist consumeristic society that he's "looking forward to death", because American society puts a lil' frown on hiz face, man. This song was written by 6025.

3. When Ya Get Drafted
Awesome catchy guitar riffs and yet also a frantic, freakish side as well. This song's about Ronald (McDonald) Reagan revving the American people up for a new war with Russia and it's all for fucking BIG BUSINESS (not the band), MAN. The verse riff just sounds fun, and the chorus riff is more mean and mutated. The solo sounds like something out of a horror film.

4. Let's Lynch the Landlord
A bit slower. It's funny how all of these songs sound so gawdamn party-tastik and yet the messages are so serious. It's an awesome-sounding song, though. And it's about killing yr landlord (rather than yr idols). Because he wants more money for everytime you drink water. Some landlords who are Dead Kennedys fans have indeed complained about them writing this song.

5. Drug Me
This is a really fast song that's not really as much an anti-drug tune as much as comparing the mainstream media and the government and entertainment industry themselves to drugs, using endless fake pleasure to keep ze kiddies entertained THEIR WAY. Yeah, I have to admit that I am into drugs somewhat myself. Not a TON yet, but I do know that getting high/drunk is totally fun. So yeah, drugs are bad mm'kay, but they're also really fun. Awesome weirdo solo in the middle of the song. You can't tell me they weren't on drugs to come up with THAT one!

6. Your Emotions
East Bay Ray wrote this lil' song. Awesome super-legit guitar riff. The beat iz fast, just makes me wanna dance! The song discusses how people are somewhat programmed how to feel by society and their surroundings, becoming like biological tape-recorders. YOUR EMOTIONS MAKE YOU A MONSTER!

7. Chemical Warfare
AN AGGRESSIVE SONG ABOUT... CHEMICAL WARFARE. "Down at the arsenal they keep the nerve gases, guarded day and night by caged white rabbits" -- AHAHAHAHAHA. In the middle, there's a freakish slow section that sounds like a creepy carnival song, sung by the famous klown, RAMBOZO. Then there's a bunch of hilarious sounds at one part right before the end. End of Side A.

8. California Über Alles
One of the most famous Dead Kennedys songs ever... original released as the band's first 7" single ever in 1979, but this is a different version of the song. This version's slightly faster, and it portrays then-governor-of-Kalifornjia as the hippie Hitler enforcing his extremely liberal views on the rest of the state. "Mellow out or YOU WILL PAY"... man.

9. I Kill Children
EIGH KULL KHULDRUNZ is another fun fast song beigh the DAD KINIDIZ about a KEH-REZEH SERULL KULLOOWER HO LOIX TEH KULLZ VER MINEH CHILDREN. "I've been butt-fucked one too many ways". Ain't that a drag. I like the riff during the mid-section of the song.

10. Stealing People's Mail
Stealing PeoplE'S Mail. Who the hell "People" is, I dunno, but if they were talking about PEOPLE as in the plural pronoun, then Jello would have titled it "Stealing Peoples' Mail", right, right? RIGHT?????????????? NOW NOBODIE KUNT FIND THER MAIL, GODDAMMIT!!!!!!

11. Funland at the Beach
Funland, funland... at the beach... Funland at the beach... yeah, I've been there. It FUCKING RULES. The sand is pink, the sky is always blue, and the cloudz are made of cotton kandYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. But really, funland @ ze beach is not always fun, 'cuz the lil' fat kids who like to the candy at this magical little world are getting killed and splattered to bloody little bits by the gigantic fucking rollercoaster and FUN-LAND. OH NO!! (cue Mr. Bill, here). Then there's a guitar solo hyah.

12. Ill in the Head
The riff consists of some normal chords succeeded by very quirky weird lead note progressions. The song's about a person who grows a case of mental insanity as an unconscious of tactic of coping with mundane life in the schizophrenic western society.

13. Holiday in Cambodia
The most famous Dead Kennedys song ever, so famous, so FUCKING PUNK ROCK that it was FUCKING PUNK ROCK FEATURED IN... a car commercial? What is this world cumming to? Gee, I dunno, but here's what I think about the song: it's catchy. It's about a liberal college student who thinks he knows everything about politics and thinks American life's so hard, but even a sucky moment in the U.S.A. is better than... A HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA, LA-LA-LA-LA-LA! Here's actually what I said about the song in my review of "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death" earlier this year: "The most famous Dead Kennedys song. Now being used in car commercials, video games, and the like, it is quite well-known in mainstream music fandom possibly for those reasons, and also because it's just a catchy, fun song. This iz the version from the single in 1980. This version mocks the mainstream "liberal elite" kids who think they've "seen it all from daddy's car", but back east "their type don't crawl" -- telling the kids who think American life is tough to cheer up because even the hardest times in America are still "a holiday in Cambodia". The vocal harmonies in the chorus are great."

14. Viva Las Vegas
This is a cover of the song by Elvis Presley. Cool bass melody. It's pretty fast. It's a happy-go-lucky tune about going to Las Vegas to see all the girls and have a bunch of fun and shit. Interesting way to end an album, I say.

The album has a lot to say about a lot of perilous situations that plagued the world at the time and just even moreso now! People are crazier than ever, these days! The album has a really gritty, vaguely garage-rocky feel to it, like the band just recorded it to their garage to a few tapes and put it on some wax as-is. I could be totally wrong though, and totally am. It's kind of like the first Dev-O album, but harder. Most of the shit I've said about this album was said in the individual track-reviews, so yes, there's my fucking opinion. Definitely listen to it, if you have anything up that brain of yours you'll enjoy something about it for sure! The Kennedys would go on to perfect their creative genius with their next albums.

Top 3 Favorites:
1. When Ya Get Drafted
2. Your Emotions
3. Kill the Poor

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