Despite there being a negative buzz around this album, with a trial linked to it and all, a person may have some inhibitions about picking up this album. My point of view on this, grow up, pick up the album and enjoy the music, itís the only official Dead Kennedys live album ever.
Compiled from four shows worth of footage, this album combines the draw of such Dead Kennedys classics as "California ‹ber Alles," "Police Truck" and "Holiday in Cambodia," with a few selected, lesser-known tracks like "Hellnation," "Goons of Hazzard" and "I Am the Owl." This combination covers all the albums released by the Dead Kennedys, which gives a detailed composite sketch for newer fans to search out a niche with the group and their music.
Jello Biafra has slagged the album for containing songs which had errors, but few will notice the small errors by the musicians, and those who are so critical should pay close attention to performers at any live show, they will make mistakes. One of the charms of live records is hearing the raw, less precise versions of the songs you have grown to love. If you want perfection, go to a studio. If you want a true representation of what it was like to be at a Dead Kennedys show, this is it.
Noted, Jello Biafra is a known perfectionist. Itís only natural that heíd feel unhappy with this album, where the most notable mistakes are during his mid-song rants.
Any fan who has heard such Dead Kennedys bootlegs as Skateboard Party will miss the elaborate speeches by Biafra, which were commonplace at a Dead Kennedys show. Some of the rants are still in place. The rant during "Riot" is worth the price of the album alone.
The album also contains pictures capturing various moments of the bandís existence. It is a chance for those who have been unable to see the band live to picture what a show might entail.
If you feel youíll betray your punk ethics by buying this album, go pop on your vinyl records and stay in the 80s. For those who have the nerve to go forward in life and live in the now, pick up this album and hear why the Dead Kennedys are the most important band to come out of American punk rock.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.