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Bedtime for Your Mom


Overall Album Score: 8.1 out of 10

The album title is an obvious pun on Ronald Regan (who once starred in a film called Bedtime for Bonzo), and this album is full of Dead Kennedys classic brand of rapid beats, over-the-top political messages, and those freaking crazy vocals from the kindest man to ever hit rock 'n' roll, Jello "There's Always Room For" Biafra.

Unfortunately, this album doesn't strike me quite like previous Dead Kennedys albums did. Particularly their previous album, FrankenChrist, where they continued to be nutzo, but they tried accessibility on for size. Bedtime for Democracy features extremely short songs (most of which are less than two and a half minutes) and they are sped up extremely fast. This is closer to the albums this group released previously to FrankenChrist, but I don't find this quite as enjoyable.

There are two fairly long songs in here. "Cesspools of Eden" is more than five minutes long, features a slower rhythm, and it's one of the album's best. "Chickenshit Conformist" is another long song that has a slow part and a fast part ... I don't find this song too compelling, however.

The song I vote the best of the album is called "I Spy." It's not fundamentally different from other songs in here ... it's a crazy old Dead Kennedys song. I just think all the elements came together the best in this track and it's the best developed.

There's some real crap in here, too. "The Great Wall" has a rhythm section that's just mindboggling how the instrumentalists could keep up with anything and still be considered sane. I have a rather difficult time distinguishing that one from noise ... and I don't even enjoy the energy. The same thing goes for "Gone With My Wind." Bluh!

But overall, this album is a good thing. It could have been a lot better, but ... so what?


Overall Album Score: 8.1 out of 10 (A good effort from the Dead Kennedys ... it just pales compared to their earlier output.)


Average Song Score: 8.3 (Some of these rule, some of these just seemed misfired.)

Album Tilt: 8.0 (There's a lot of stuff in here! It might have been better for them to have developed some of their better songs in here and scrapped a few of those relatively junky songs.)

Artist Rating: 8.0 (They're still pretty interesting for a punk group. I'm not too impressed with tihs addition to their discography as an artist product.)


Track Reviews

Take This Job and Shove It 8/10

...Do you realize that this melody is so overly simple that it's not even funny? Except, of course, it's played so extremely rapidly and Biafra gives one of his signature NUTZO performances that it still manages to be pretty delightful. (Those little pauses that just feature an electric guitar piddling around for just a couple of seconds are kind of awesome!)

Hop With the Jet Set 9/10

More of that rapid punk stuff is featured here. This one's so noisy that it's almost hard to distinguish the *song* here! ... But there's a song here. Of course there is! ... It's very energetic and Dead Kennedysish. (Does anyone out there actually wonder why I have a difficult time writing Dead Kennedy track reviews?) There's a little bit of Spaghetti Western guitar at the end, which was certainly a nice touch.

Dear Abby 8.5/10

Biafra makes his voice sound like a whiny old woman ... you know, like someone complaining about their stupid life to Abigail Van Buren. Mmmm hmmmm... That's why this song is funny. And it's only like a minute long!

Rambozo the Clown 8/10

...Not much has changed here. The guitars are heavy and the drum beat is rapid. You can headbang to this song if you like, but I don't want to hurt my neck. I really like the middle of this song, featuring a slowed down tempo and Biafra singing "War is sexy, war is fun." Aaaah, you've got to love the Dead Kennedys.

Fleshdunce 9/10

This song is even crazier than ususal! There is a rather elaborate introduction to the song as only the bass guitar is playing and then some punky power chords start coming in. (They don't normally do this, do they???) The end of the song features a bunch of strange vocal overdubs.

The Great Wall 7/10

...Geez, those drums are so freaking rapid that it's ... making my brain hurt. WHY MUST YOU MAKE MY BRAIN HURT?????? ... Oh wait. That's what punk people do. OK. Still, I'm not thrilled with this song at all. It's not interesting to me, so I don't care about it.

Shrink 8.5/10

DEAD KENNEDYYYYYYYYYYYSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I wrote a Dead Kennedys reviews consisting mostly of this, and ... that was the best dang review I ever wrote. I don't care what anyone has to say about the matter.) Anyway, this song features another extremely rapid drum beat, but this song is more enjoyable to me. I can't delve into the scientific principles behind this, so ... I won't go any further into that.

Triumph of the Swill Swill 8/10

This one starts out with some dialogue about parents calling their lawyer because their son was found dead with some Ozzy records. ... Yup ... When the song strikes up, it's as crazy and loud as can be. Do I like it? ... Sure. (You kids like crazzzzzy music.)

Macho Insecurity 7/10

This song has another one of those drum beats that are so over-the-top fast that it threatens to rid me of my BRAIN. Biafra's screaming singing is as crazy as normal. But, for me, there's nothing I really enjoy about this one. I like the HIGH energy, but ... I wanna more!!!!

I Spy 10/10

So, this song starts with some very slow bass, and I'm wondering ... OK, did this album accidentally skip to a *NORMAL* album? ... Apparently not, because a regular ole Dead Kennedys punk song starts playing. I like this one more than the others because: A) The drums are fast but they're not *too* fast. 2) This has a melody and Biafra steps aside for awhile and lets the instruments rock out for a change. X) This one's just very enjoyable to me. It's still crazy and mean, but it's also pretty well-developed for this group.

Cesspools in Eden 9.5/10

You probably read my review for FrankenChrist, and you know how much I liked it. This song sounds like it could have appeared on that album!! You see, the beat is REGULAR, the melody is very strong, Biafra's crazy but not *too* crazy, and this song is also nearly six minutes long ... whereas the previous songs were mostly around 2-minutes long. Give me this type of song over the others ANY DAY. (Ignore the fact that I gave "I Spy" a higher rating.)

One-Way Tickle 8/10

OOOOOOOOOOHHH NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! We're back to the crazy old Dead Kennedys songs! This one is PLAYED REALLY FASTTTTTTT... (Oh wait, they are all played really fast ... except for "Cesspools of Eden...) This one was an interesting composition ... I like it, but not a whole lot.

Do the Slag 8/10

This song sounds a lot like the last one ... (Do all of these songs sound alike? ... Man, if you're not paying close attention, they do.) There's a very quick little electric guitar solo in the middle of this, which is interesting. This song also has an introduction to it, but it's not an extremely great one!

A Commercial 6.5/10

There's some electric guitar opening this, and then there's this goofy dialogue about an MTV telethon. Ummm... I don't find this to be funny, really but ... whatever. There's no actual song here. It's just talking. Hm.

Gone With My Wind 7/10

This stuff really is exhausting! This is the fifteenth bloody track already and ... IT'S PLAYED REALLY FAST!!! I don't find this one to be too fascinating, though. ... I'm not enjoying it ... sorry. I appreciate the spirit and energy as usual, but ... no. No good.

Anarchy for Sale 8.5/10

This is more like it! There's a beat here for me to enjoy. The chants of "Anarchy for sale" are pretty fun. Jello gives a really good CRAZED performance here as just a regular old CRAZED performance.

Chickenshit Conformist 8/10

Look! The beginning of this song is not rattling my brain in my skull!! It's slow and it's normal. Not particularly compelling, but ... It just gave me a needed break. But sure enough, the quick Dead Kennedys nonsense gets going and makes my brain hurt again. This song goes back and forth between the slower and calm and the EXTREMELY FAST ... for nearly six minutes. This is one of the more interesting, I guess, songs in here, but ... I'm not really enjoying it too much.

Where Do Ya Draw the Line 9/10

I like this song, though! It's a quick punk song, but I can enjoy this one quite a bit this time. The beat is conducive to listening, and Baifra's voice is kept properly crazzzzy. There's even a nice little instrumental interlude in here. Sweet.

Potshot Heard Round the World 8/10

This song has a very slow bit involving drums and a bass that serve as the introduction and it shows up again in the middle of the song. ... Eh ... that part doesn't impress me too much, even though I'm glad this isn't just another crazy fast song! ... Well, it's still a crazy fast song, but not all the way through.

D.M.S.O. 8.5/10

So, this song starts with a slow bassline that sounds like it was a lost Mancini composition for a Pink Panther movie. Biafra comes in and gives a quieter, more restrained vocal performance, and ugly electric guitars ease in and out of the song. Is this what avantgarde punk sounds like? Well, this is another unique song for this group at least!

Lie Detector 9.5/10

AYE CARAMBA!!! THIS FREAKING ALBUM IS FINALLY OVER!!!! ... You know this album seems longer than it is. It's not even more than 50 minutes long, but ... it just seems longer. But still. This is the 21st track. (WOOWOOOWOWOOWOOOWOOWOOWOWOWOO.) They close the album with one of their "normal" fast paced punk songs, and it's one of their better ones in my opinion. The song is just under four minutes long, so it's not too short this time. I like the rhythm of this song, thankfully. It's extremely well played and Biafra doesn't go totally over the edge here. It's even clever. What do you know.


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All reviews are copyrighted by the author, Michael Lawrence. I'm a doctor, and I want my sausages.

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