The legendary record, Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, by Dead Kennedys has recently been remastered by Chris Lord-Alge, and has officially been re-issued as of last Friday. Given this recent exciting news, I figured I would take a walk back through the band’s debut studio album to see how it sounds through some fresh ears. Lord-Alge shared, ““Revisiting Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables was such an inside peek at a band packing so much excitement onto tape for every song. The style and playing has such drive and spirit. The big challenge for me was keeping it honest to its original sound and not letting it become modern but improving the separation and clarity. A major chapter in history for Dead Kennedys.” With such steadfast dedication to making each and every song come alive again, Dead Kennedys can look back fondly on this reissued set that packs a nice new shiny punch to it.
Album opener “Kill The Floor” packs plenty of bounce to it, with the bass lines really pulsating through the new mix. “Forward to Death” highlights the frenetic drumming from original percussionist Bruce Slesinger, and vocalist Jello Biafra’s delivery really shines on this newly mastered recording. Other early standouts like “When Ya Get Drafted” and the hyped-up energy found on “Drug Me” really sparkle on this refreshed mixes. My personal favorite on the front half, “Your Emotions,” showcases this band’s great chemistry with each other on their debut LP, and clicks along perfectly.
The band’s arguably most recognizable song, “Holiday in Cambodia,” continues to display its Pink Floyd meets punk rock brilliance in its delivery, and still keeps the spirit of the original recording. Closing out with “Viva Las Vegas” is a blast of pure punk rock fun, and leaves the listener clamoring for more and reaching for the repeat button on the disc.
The “2022 Mix” CD features a great, comprehensive 28-page booklet that dives into the history of Dead Kennedys and features exclusive quotes and testimonials from artists like Guns N’ Roses, Bad Religion, Megadeth, Pennywise, among many more sharing what this band means to them. The liner notes will leave fans satisfied with its in-depth dedication to preserving the past while still sharing something new about these punk legends. Long live the Dead Kennedys.