Category: The Lemonheads

The Lemonheads – Creator

ARTIST: The Lemonheads                              lemonheads-creator-cover

TITLE:  Creator

YEAR RELEASED: 1988

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably not

LINEUP: Ben Deily, Evan Dando, Jesse Peretz, John Strohm

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT:  More pop, less punk from the Boston group which was splintering as they recorded it.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This is Ben Deily’s record, he wrote eight of the original 13 tracks. Evan Dando only contributed three, and sang the two covers (Kiss’ “Plaster Caster” and a Charlie Manson tune – yep, they did “Your Home Is Where You’re Happy).

It takes a little bit to hear a Lemonheads record where Dando’s lazy voice isn’t out front, replaced by Deily’s tight gruff growl, but Deily’s songs, while punky in genesis, are definitely poppier than their earlier work. There’s still some punky elements, like Dando’s “Clang Bang Clang”, but there’s more of a sense of melody here. The production doesn’t do them any justice, though – some cuts seem muddy and have an odd mix.

Featuring John Strohm of the Blake Babies on drums (!), Creator was going to be their last record until a tour of Europe beckoned. In reality, they would have been a footnote at most had they split up after this album.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Deily and Dando sang on the songs they wrote, and didn’t sound like they collaborated much on each other’s songs.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Two bonus tracks from a later tour of the Netherlands featuring songs from their next album. So why are they on here?

GRADE: B-: I like it better than I used to, but it’s kind of a record for fans only.

The Lemonheads – Hate Your Friends

ARTIST: The Lemonheads Lemonheads-HYF-cover

TITLE:  Hate Your Friends

YEAR RELEASED: 1987

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW:  Maybe, just maybe: Second Chance and Glad I Don’t Know

LINEUP: Evan Dando, Ben Deily, Jesse peretz, Doug Trachten

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Boston power-punk-pop band’s debut long player (after an EP release) shows flashes of brilliance, but is bogged down by a lack of direction.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After an EP with some promise, the Lemonheads recorded a full-length album showcasing both Evan Dando’s and Ben Deily’s take on power pop with a punk rock twist. For a few tracks, they had another drummer (Trachten) instead of using Dando or Deily on drums depending on who wasn’t signing.

Dando and Deily both have some great, tuneful songs that are helped by the punk-esque energy. They also have some tunes that are muddled in execution or just not up to scratch. Trying to keep a leg in the punk world when you have some power pop skills means that your true punk songs aren’t convincing and seem forced.

The Lemonheads have a tangled legacy, and a tangled lineup. This first album doesn’t clarify anything.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: On stage, Deily and Dando would do the swapping between drums and guitar as well.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a cassette version had their original EP, as did the CD release. However, that’s no longer streaming, and I wish it was. Alas.

GRADE: C+: It’s uneven, some songs are exiled. I truly wish the EP and other bonus tracks were streaming. Maybe one day!