Dead Kennedys' Baptisim of Satire
Dave Id | Flagstaff, Arizona | 01/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first full length album from Dead Kennedys is still foremost on the list of classic punk rock albums. Describing the band a leftover Vietnam War protest band, Jello B. and the Dks became the liberal conscience of the early punk underground scene. Picking up where the Sex Pistols' fell apart in San Francisco, California, Dead Kennedys continued the back-to-basics/music-as-message aesthetic of their British predecessors.
Jello's lyrics flip-flop from humorous to in-your-face in true satirical manner challenging the listener to divine whether he's a sick agitator or a wry social commentator. I've come to the conclusion that the songs are straw-man set ups delivered from the point of view to satiree; hopefully, I've been right all these years and the man isn't totally nuts.
Taking on subjects from hypocrisy of authority and waste of the unexamined life, "Fresh Fruit..." is as confrontational as it is fun to listen to, while as being just as relevant as when it was originally released. There's everything from the politics of County Joe to the energy of Joey Ramone here.
Unfortunately, current disagreements between the former band members find this album, along with the rest of the Dead Kennedys catalogue, in a control tug-of-war based more on financial disagreements than on ideological ones, which is in stark contrast to the spirit that the album was created in. If you can find an older copy on Alternative Tentacles Records, grab it because it'll be a long, long time before this material will be pressed again under the banner of the bat logo."