Monday, September 13, 2010

Blast from the Past: Come on Feel The Lemonheads

Artist: The Lemonheads (Official, MySpace, Wikipedia)
Title: Come on Feel The Lemonheads (Amazon, Wikipedia)

The Lemonheads will probably always been known for their cover of “Mrs. Robinson” which appeared on 1992’s It’s a Shame About Ray. They will also most likely always be thought of as Evan Dando’s band, but that wasn’t always the case. Prior to becoming the Tiger Beat poster-boy for alternative rock, Dando was just one voice in The Lemonheads. The band recorded three albums for Taang! Records and in 1989 co-founder, vocalist, and songwriter Ben Deily left the band and Dando, at this point the only consistent member of the band, signed to Atlantic Records. In 1990 the band released its major label debut Lovely which was followed two years later by …Ray.

On the heals of mainstream attention, in 1993 The Lemonheads released Come on Feel The Lemonheads. This album essentially picked up where it’s predecessor left off, mixing indie rock sensibilities will bubble gum pop (the band was often called “bubble grunge”) and produced a moderate hit with the song “Into Your Arms” (which ironically was another cover; so up to this point this band was known for their covers which included the two aforementioned tunes and their version of “Luka” from Lick). The band recorded one more record for Atlantic before Dando decided to take a hiatus from music. He returned to The Lemonheads in 2005 with ALL/Descendents Bill Stevenson and Karl Alvarez on drums and bass and released a self-titled record for Vagrant Records.

I remember getting Come on Feel The Lemonheads in ’93 when it first came out and enjoying it, but not listening much past the single and the first few songs on the tape. Yesterday though I picked up a copy of the CD at Hastings for $0.97 and have been listening to it pretty much non-stop since. This record is full of really well crafted pop songs that come to life through Dando’s airy voice. There is nothing really original on this record, but that doesn’t matter because the tunes are good. In other words, Dando was walking an already well traveled road when he produced this record, but he did so with his own unique voice and flair. What I also really enjoyed about listening to this album again was the fact that it didn’t feel nostalgic. Yes this is very much an early 90s album but it is not completely dated or limited to that era.

If you got this record when it was first release and haven’t listened to it since or if you are a fan of really good indie pop then I highly suggest you get a copy of Come on Feel The Lemonheads (and hey, it probably won’t cost you much).

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