It’s been 10 years since the last Lemonheads album, a decade in which Evan Dando unraveled from indie poster boy to drug-addicted has-been. Two underrated solo albums set the stage for a full-band reunion, but The Lemonheads sounds like what its title implies—a fresh start, and a welcome return to the fuzzed-out guitars, slacker sensibilities and indelible pop hooks for which the band is known.
The reconstituted Lemonheads— made up of former members of Black Flag and The Descendents—rock harder than the earlier incarnations. But this is still Evan Dando’s band, and he picks up like it’s 1995, doing what he’s always done. Slacker Evan re-emerges and shrugs his shoulders when surveying the political landscape (“Let’s Just Laugh”), but more personal songs like “Become the Enemy” and “Poughkeepsie” reveal carnage and bitterness. There’s no immediately accessible high point here, no “Confetti” or “Into Your Arms,” but there’s no low point, either. This is sturdy, melodic power pop, and it’s great to see America’s #1 Slacker back in slouching primetime form.