Album Review – Car Button Cloth by The Lemonheads (1996) (TAG Recordings)

In a similar sense to the 1989 release Lick, a sense of history of the band, or in particular Evan Dando, is perhaps needed to really appreciate this album.

Carbuttoncloththelemonheads.jpgEffectively this, The Lemonheads 7th album, during and immediately after a particularly bad time in Dando’s life that involved both rehabilitation centres , mental hospitals and an ill fated tour with Oasis.

As such there is a personal feel to this album, with tracks such as the brilliant Hospital (see below) and Losing Your Mind entering the sort of ‘introspective deep territory’ that Dando spent so much time avoiding in previous works.

Its not all gloom though. As always, Dando has one eye firmly lodged on the dollar and as such this album has the obligatory commercially acceptable radio sounds such as Its All True and If I Could Talk I’d Tell You, with the latter being another reference albeit a poppy version of his drugs problems. Thankfully Dando has always done commercial brilliantly and these tracks are no exception

Similarly the equally obligatory covers are on the album (three in total). The best being Knoxville Girl (see below) which does everything to cement Dando’s reputation as one of the best cover artists in modern rock.

This is an album that was castigated with a fervency by the musical press at the time. However, to genuine Dando fans, this was ‘the’ album whereby we finally go to know the inner of workings of this fractious adult, rather than the superficial adolescent that he had hitherto clung so dearly too…great stuff.

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