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4.6 out of 5 stars
17
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 17 May 2016
I realize this review is about 30 years too late in some ways, but here goes. I have owned, and loved, the DK's first album, "Fresh fruit...", since it first came out; I bought it as a 15 year old punk and it opened my eyes to a style of 'punk' that was markedly different to the British bands of the time. It has always been a favourite album since then, one which has never left my turn table/cassette/cd player/mp3, etc. I saw the band play in Birmingham last June, minus 'Jello', but with a more than adequate replacement in 'Chip' and again realised how good, and important, this band were and still are. Not wanting to blur my own view of them and their 'legacy' I actively dissuaded myself from buying their "Plastic Surgery.." follow up for fear of hearing a side of them which would dent my view; I was so wrong to have ignored this album.
Not only is it probably better than "Fresh Fruit..", which should be as unlikely a statement to hear yourself sayas " I think it's going to be Leicester City's year to win the league", but songs such as 'Buzzbomb" and the superb "Moon over Marin" sit equally comfortably along favourites such as "California Uber Alles", "Holiday in Cambodia", etc. The real standout factor in this album is the standard's set by 'DH' and 'East Bay Ray' which drive the whole album to a level which at times seems unreal. This should have been more widely acclaimed than it was, but then living under the shadow of "Fresh Fruit.." must have been an almost impossible task at the time it was originally released. Just buy it and see what I mean.
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on 27 July 2017
Great album
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on 1 March 2003
I thought after damning one 'classic punk album' I'd priase another. This album is certainly the best punk album i have ever heard. While typically Fresh Fruit earns the title of Best DKs album, it is not as consistent and characteristic of both the dead kennedys sound nor Biafra's attitude. This is where we see Jello bring in concepts and theories into his lyircs ('Trust your mechanic' about how various occupations in society try to feed off you, and 'Halloween' talking about how we suppress our personalities to have a comfortable life, amongst others). The other adavantage is that the album is far better in terms of production, really highlighting the aggression and anger that comes with this album. Furthermore, Peligro is behind the drum kit and is, quite frankly, brilliant. Also, the EP is the most aggressive stuff the band ever did, far closer to agreesive hardcore. 'Nazi Punks' and 'Hyperactive Child' fly by in a crazy wave and 'We've Got An Even Bigger Problem Now' is a brilliant take on 'California Uber Alles' with the benefit of hindsight (Reagan instead of Brown).
They were the greatest punk band and all of the Kennedys' albums are great and worth buying but this is their best overall, even if it doesn't have their well-known classics.
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on 15 July 2000
The DKs second LP was easily their best. Its about the only record whose lyrics I ever learnt off by heart. "Why are you such a stupid asshole? Do you really want to know?" and so with a cacophany of cymbals, guitar whine and a young lady telling you why you're a pyschiatric case begins one of the most inspired Lp track arrangements ever. For starter you get the Government Flu and we launch into the LP proper - each track getting progressively better, more intricate, more aggressive until you reach Moon over Marin, arguably the weakest song lyrically, but for sure fire pogo-punkout there is no better - East Bay Ray's uniquely driven multi-layered note picking guitar pours over the thumpingly lumpy bass of Klaus and the constantly changing patters of Peligro's drumkit. In fact side 2 (OK, OK, I bought this on 33 - ever seen a record player kids?) has the best tracks, including the singles 'Hallowe'en and Bleed For Me which remains an awesome snarl - The tempo throughout is bouncy and unrelenting, the lyrics acerbic and political, mixing scathing social comment, satire, bloodyminded apolitical nihilism and attacks on consumerism. Yeah, the lyrics: often hilarious - check this, from Forest Fire, "where's yer brand new pretty wife? She might still be inside! Either save her or your cocaine from the fire." That just about captures the moral vaccuum of yuppie days - only everyone's a yuppie now so no-one notices anymore...The DKs were really the standout band of this period (1982) and I can't see why you haven't already bought this LP. Bonus too, of the In God We Trust Inc. EP which is a heavier, noisier and altogether less inspired piece of sonic mayhem. The DKs and other bands in this period were genuine outsiders, and the edge is apparent in the music and the uncompromising stance of the lyrics. They set out to annoy and inspire in equal mesaure - to annoy the big record labels, the government, the PRMC, the cops and all the corporate thugs who look to make our lives safe, cosy and piss-boring. I loved 'em and I miss 'em. What the hell is there now? Eminem? Don't make me laugh. If you want other great punk bands from the past twenty years, also check out Black Flag, The Gits, The Avengers, Crime, Fear, Crucifucks and The Circle Jerks. Happy listening.
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on 28 April 2017
not bad
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on 8 December 2006
At the time Sounds described this album as the musical equivalent of removing your weekend stubble with a blunt razorblade. Slightly uncomfortable at times but when you're done everything is right again.

I thought this album was the pinnicle of punk and recently listening to it again it still has no peers. This is how to play fast and be intelligent at the same time.

It's worth noting that the last tracks from Religious Vomit (what a title - still hits direct at the Bush neocons 25yrs later) onwards predate the rest by a year sitting between Fresh Fruit and PSD. There is also a cracking DVD showing the making of in God We Trust where you see how good this band were.
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on 10 October 2001
PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS (1982)
A time machine for the socially or politically aware, Plastic Surgery Disasters isn't as glib as its name suggests. Its lyrics are thoughtful, and sung with as much feeling as a Céline Dion ballad but a 1000 times the sincerity....
In pure musical terms the guitar work of East Bay Ray and Klaus Fluoride are as tight as they were on ‘Fresh Fruit’ with a sound a little like surf tune guitar and jazz bass on speed. Yet the effect is impressive – uniquely so. The riffs are furious, the major minor changes are perfect and the drumming is crisp. These guys know how to carry a tune.
Plastic Surgery Disasters is nearly 20 years old – can that be right? This album seems to defy age. ‘I am the Owl’ and ‘Riot’ make as much sense now as they did then, or will tomorrow or in another 20 years. ‘Moon over Marin’ and ‘Well Paid Scientist’ still as insightful and intelligent.
If you think Green Day are the last word in Punk, or that Pink Floyd have the monopoly on timeless classics listen to Plastic Surgery Disasters. Not simply one of the greatest punk albums of all time, but surely one of the greatest albums of all time.
TJR
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on 9 May 2001
the dead kennedys have to be in the top 5 punk bands of all-time. they had intelligence, force, ferocity and the most scathing socio-political lyrics ever. yes, they were shocking, but this was mainly to make as many people aware of the issues which concerned their generation.
this double album has some of the best examples of the DK's material - the first few tracks are standard fare, then 'riot' examines the sheep mentalitly of rioting and in it calls for some common-sense when it comes to protest,'bleed for me' - an assault on the idea of dying for your country's honour,'religious vomit'- exposing the corruption of religion (with the brilliant beginning with the preacher + choir singing "M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E"),'nazi punks fuck off' - the best song which lyrically spells out what punk is and puts down the stupid belief that punk is about violence and aggression,'we've got a bigger problem now'- basically 'california uber alles' with jazzy-sounding breaks which makes it all the more powerful when the surf punk guitar clangs it's way in.
jello biafra - brilliant lyricist and one-of-a-kind vocals, east bay ray and the rest of the band - forceful, direct, interesting and uncompromising.
the only thing i could say in the way of faults with the album is that it doesn't contain 'holiday in cambodia' which is certainly one of their best songs.
if you are just getting into the DK's, then this is as good a place to start as any and if you have experienced them before...then u need this!
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on 6 June 2001
What seems like another offering from Jello and co is actually the finest record they have put out. The main reason for this is that the Dead Kennedys have so much effort and energy into this album that you can hear it in the lyrics and in their sheer aggression. Biafra's ultimate cynical, if not paranoid view of the world is all here from religious supremacists (Religious Vomit, Moral Majority), cowboys (Trust your mechanic), and War (Bleed for Me). He also attacks people who seem to have their priorities mixed up like in 'Halloween', 'Forest Fire' and 'Buzzbomb'.
This e.p/album crossover is a good one, as both are very hardcore, and that's one of the main essences of this album. This album even includes 'Nazi Punks Fuck off', which is a timeless punk classic.
Unfortunately, because this album has no 'Holiday in Cambodia', people tend to avoid it, but I see this as a much better album than Fresh Fruit, as it is more progressive, more experimental and more effective.
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on 9 December 2003
So this gaets labelled as Punk does it?. How silly folk are to dismiss an album merely because of a label of genre.
Opening with Christmas Past, then straight into Government Flu and you know this isn't an album to be lightly dismissed. The album builds via Terminal Preppie into Trust You Mechanic. Still think you get good service do you?. Well Paid Scientist berates the rungs of the career ladder before Buzzbomb and Forest Fire kick in.
Halloween speaks volumes for conformity, Winnebago Warrior raises a wry smile, then all hell kicks loose.
From Riot through to the excellent Moon Over Marin should be listened to as one sequence for best effect. Stunning.
In God We Trust Inc. is interesting, but cannot match the preceeding album, and in my opinion should have been an additional CD. Over all, PSD is one of the best albums of all time, and is up there with The Clash' magnum opus London Calling as an album that straddles genres and still sounds fresh to this day.
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