In this, the third or fourth act of Evan Dando's career, depending on who's counting, it's all about getting back to his roots. After years of consignment to an adult-alternative crowd that grew listening to It's A Shame About Ray in their Allston/Back Bay dorms, and then a period of inactivity spent mentoring little boys and generally being what is euphemistically referred to in these parts as a "fuckup," Dando has been setting the stage for a return by -- ahem -- going native, which in this case means going hardcore. He began using the Lemonheads name again for cash a couple years ago on the Euro festival circuit, the Lemonheads in those cases being whomever he could get to play with him (not a bad gig when he got Chris Brokaw to play guitar). For the past two years, he's appeared regularly on the kind of old-school-Boston-hardcore benefit shows that pop up around here from time to time, when everyone who's ever been in Gang Green and Jerry's Kids and the Freeze -- this describing a group of people whose population is about the size of Quincy -- packs a medium-capacity venue and drinks the place dry. There was also that time he invited himself along on an MC5 reunion tour, but let's not relive that particular memory this early in the morning.
For the purposes of the next Lemonheads record, the Lemonheads are Evan Dando and the Descendents, with Dinosaur's J. Mascis on "select tracks." For the purposes of the Lemonheads summer festival tours, the Lemonheads will be Evan Dando and Ben Kweller's old rhythm section: Josh Lattanzi who also played with Juliana Hatfield and John Kent, who didn't. According to the press release that just landed in our inbox, the album will be self-titled and will be released by Vagrant Records on September 26. Still, it seems a little disingenuous to call it the "reformed group's first new album in 10 years," because, well, to be reformed you've got first to be formed, and we're pretty sure this is the first time these particular "Lemonheads" have ever played together. Note: we won't give a shit who's on the damn thing so long as it sounds more like Hate Your Friends than Baby I'm Bored.
Those of you in the UK can see the Lemonheads at the Lattitude Festival in Suffolk on July 14th and on July 16th at Somerset House in London. Everyone else waits til Fall.
Track listing for The Lemonheads:
Black Gown Become The Enemy Pittsburgh Let's Just Laugh Poughkeepsie Rule of Three No Backbone Baby's Home In Passing Steve's Boy December
DOWNLOAD: The Lemonheads, Live in Chicago 2004 (registration required)
PREVIOUSLY: Lemonheads sign to Vagrant