At the age of 52, Mr. Biafra is still fresh and biting while a bunch of kids calling them self “punks” still can’t have a hard-on.
In the twenty or so years since Dead Kennedys officially disbanded, Jello Biafra has made a career of spoken word gigs interspersed with musical collaborations, recording projects and touring with Melvins, No Means No, DOA, Mojo Nixon and Lard (with Ministry’s Al Jorgensen) among others have kept his “hardcore as political weapon” message sharp, but the lack of his own band made these collaborations usually short-lived and left Biafra with a ton of songs that had never seen the light of day. Inspired by Iggy Pop’s 60th birthday gig at the Warfield in San Francisco, Biafra laid plans for his own 50th birthday party and finally decided it was time to start a band of his own. Ten years before he had been attempting the same thing with the likes of guitarist Ralph Spight (Victims Family, Freak Accident, Hellworms) and drummer Jon Weiss (Sharkbait, Horsey). They had also previously worked with bassist Billy Gould (Faith No More) who was tapped for the new group. After cramming rehearsal for a month the four piece band known as Jello Biafra and the Axis Of Merry Evildoers took the stage in a sold-out two night stand at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall and subsequently spent the next 9 months in rehearsal for an album project. Before entering the studio guitarist Kimo Ball (Freak Accident, Carneyball Johnson, Mol Triffid, Griddle) was recruited. The quintet now known as Jello Biafra and The Guantanamo School of Medicine began recording tracks for the upcoming album “The Audacity Of Hype” slated for release in October 2009.
“The Audacity Of Hype” was a perfect and striking bending of the Dead Kennedys hardcore-punk adding a healthy dose of Detroit style proto-punk and mixed with layers of sonic guitar noise, and Weiss’ industrial excursions into metal percussion.
Andrew Weiss (Rollins Band, Ween, Butthole Surfers) filling the live bass position left vacant by Billy Gould’s return to Faith No More and the band’s second release, this EP titled “Enhanced Methods of Questioning”, was released on May 31, 2011. 6 tracks, the same pumping energy and roots-back to Dead Kennedys with the nerve and sound of the now days post-hardcore.
While the first five tracks (Dot Com Monte Carlo, The Cells That Will Not Die, Victory Stinksand, Invasion Of The Mind Snatchers and Miracle Penis Highway) are almost classic punk rock, hardcore punk anthems, “Metamorphosis Exploration On Deviation Street Jam” is an over 18 minutes trip filled with blues and psychedelic tunes, a chill and sparking jam.
This is music for real, this is punk. Fans of Bowling For Soup and others like, better stay out of this.
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine @ Alternative Tentacles Records
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine @ MySpace