The Lemonheads’ debut album, released in 1987 is far away from the early 90s tracks where they made their name. There’s not the slightest tinge of country about these tracks, there are 13 tracks over 24 minutes of mostly rather generic speed-punk. Mainman Evan Dando alternates lead vocals with collaborator Ben Deily.
Dando opens the album with the brief Eat It which sets the tone for a bunch of sub two-minute, three chord thrashes. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t set them apart. Deily’s 3-9-4 feels like a cross between the S€x Pistols and very early Screaming Trees, and later he shouts his way through the punk version of Amazing Grace you always knew you needed.
The band are slightly more successful when the drop the pace a little, Deily’s Second Chance works in a kind of Jam-like way, but the one true great is the longest track here at three minutes. Don’t Tell Yourself, with a swaggering riff and a dislocated, sullen vocal from Dando which works really well on a track made to play loudly.
It’s an interesting curio for Lemonhead completists (yes there are Lemonheads fans who can find some motivation to collect their releases), but inessential.