Album #176: The Lemonheads – Hate Your Friends

  • Released: 1987
  • Origin: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Label: Taang!
  • Best Track: Uhhh

I’m working my way through The Lemonheads’ chronology in a topsy-turvy way.

I started with their fifth album, the 1992 classic It’s A Shame About Ray, which remains probably in my top 20 albums of all time. I then discovered its follow-up Come on Feel The Lemonheads, but then went back to 1989 for Lick. Now I suppose I’m moving on to where I should have started with their 1987 debut.

And Hate Your Friends is pretty straight-up punk. Clocking in at just 24 minutes, it’s rough and ready, but still pretty melodic. At the time, it might have been referred to as ‘pop-punk’, before certain bands came along later and made ‘pop’ very much the operative word in that phrase.

Some tracks, like ‘Second Chance’, have a Descendents vibe with their bass-heaviness, while the title track, ‘I Don’t Wanna’ and personal favourite ‘Uhhh’ are instantly catchy.

Elsewhere, we get a pretty skippable cover of the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’. Evan Dando’s lot have made their name with great rock covers of songs like ‘Mrs. Robinson’ and ‘A Different Drum’, but this isn’t one of their better efforts.

It seems even die-hard Lemonheads fans seldom rave about this album, but while it doesn’t quite stack up against what came later, it’s not a bad start.

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