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If you ever listened to any of the Dead Kennedys or Jello Biafra's many other collaborations, you have either thought two things. The first of which could be "What a unique and amazing voice, by no means 'good' but I like it, I wonder what else he's done..." then you continue to search other albums by the punk rocker. However the second response (which seems to be the majority of responses, from personal experience of course) is something along the lines of "What the fuck is with this guys voice? He sounds like a fag! Why would I ever want to listen to this shit?" If the response is the former, you will enjoy to hear that Jello had two collaborations with the fathers of grunge, The Melvins (however if your response was the latter, tits or GTFO, hater).
Where do I start? I think this album should have more recognition than it has today, the songs all have a solid base to build upon. Whether it be a fast slightly menacing guitar riff in which everything comes together to create a disturbing environment, (Plethysmograph, The Lighter Side Of Global Terrorism) or a strange groove that you wouldn't normally expect from either contributors (Islamic Bomb, Enchanted Thoughtfist). Then there are the songs that sound like good old Melvins with, well, Jello Biafra in it.
The majority of the song-writing is typical of The Melvins style, and although it is granted that I don't listen to much of The Melvins regularly (except for Honey Bucket, which I could literally listen to for every second for the rest of my life) it comes together quite well. Of course since it IS Jello singing after all, you'd be naive or just stupid to assume that it wouldn't have lyrics dealing with today's problems. In a short list: 1. Perverted authority figures ("Big man uniform and badge, pedophile status ain't got nothin' on me!" 2. Thinking for yourself ("We all believe, what we want to believe, don't just question authority, don't forget to question me"). And 3. Ignorant ass-wipes, suicide bombers, arms dealers, etc.
There are of course certain draw-backs to this album, although Islamic Bomb has a fantastic drum intro, with a driving ,almost silly, bass line to back-up Jello's singing, it feels like its potential isn't fully reached. The song "Caped Crusader" isn't necessarily "bad" it is just a bit too slow for my taste. But if there were enough nails in the first place (which there are NOT trust me) Dawn Of the Locusts would be the final one. It doesn't really do anything for me, and I'd rather have that replaced with one of the two strong songs from their next collaboration*.
But this of course is a man who enjoys Jello Biafra quite well, so you can expect a little leaning towards liking this album in the first place**. But trust me if you like Melvins and haven't even heard of "Jello Biafra" you should probably get a hold of this album in any way you can, but since it was released on Alternative Tentacles, an independant label company, it wouldn't hurt to physically buy the damn thing.
*The next collaboration has almost no high-points, on account of the majority of it are just remixes from this one, however "Lessons In What Not to Become" and "Those Dumb Punk Kids (Will Buy Anything)" are the only worthy notables. [Kali-fornia Uber Alles 21st Century (Live) is good but, again, it's merely the original with a new feel, almost a cover]
**If it makes you feel better his collaboration with NoMeansNo, one of my favourite bands, was a complete pile of crap in my opinion, save for one or two songs.