Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death review by Dead Kennedys

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  • Released: May 27, 1987
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (22 votes)
Dead Kennedys: Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death

Sound — 9
The sound on this album is great. It also has a live song or two on it, a spoken improvistion by Jello, a spoken "phone call" from the Secretary of War to the Prime Minister, which give it a lot of variety. A lot of the songs sound a bit threatening ("The Prey" really scared me when I first heard it, since its so dark and weird and is told from the point of view of a stalker). This album includes the legendary "Holiday In Cambodia" and "California Uber Alles," as well as the intentionally outrageously titled "Too Drunk To F--k," a hilarious cover of "I Fought The Law (And I Won), and the ridiculous 20 second long "I Like Short Songs."

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are very politically fuelled, and theres also a few songs about school and it wasting your life. Jello Biafra manages to get everyone to listen to him by using sarcastically funny lyrics about really serious issues. The song "Pull My Strings" is hilarious, and the chorus "Is my cock big enough? Is my brain small enough? For you to make me a star?" will get in your head for ages. It also has (in my opinion) the most genius lyric ever written on Holiday In Cambodia - "Kiss ass while you bitch so you can get rich but your boss gets richer off you."

Overall Impression — 10
The Dead Kennedys are probably my favourite band, and this album is amazing! East Bay Ray has really catchy guitar hooks, Klaus Flouride has some awesome bass lines, the drums at the beginning of California Uber Alles are legeendary. And as for Jello Biafra, he is a great singer who can sing fast, slow, low and high, and the lyrics are a mix of pure genius and insanity. The only low point on the album is Saturday Night Holocaust, because its a bit slow and boring. Otherwise, every other song is a standout! If it were stolen, I'd buy it again instantly, along with Frankenchrist (their only album I dont have). If your a fan of older punk but want a band who have more interesing instrument parts rather than just a political message, then this is the band for you!

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    'too drunk to f**k', 'Police Truck' and 'i fought the law' are my fav songs on the album
    Police Truck and Holiday in Cambodia, freaking awsome. Probly one of my favorite punk bands. The vocals are so unique its hard not to love em'
    Saturday night holocaust is fantastic, really freaky and dark- would someone please tab it? The album drifts away a bit at the end with the wierd songs but the first half is top notch. Ray's guitar lines retain the energy and excitement of punk rock but are a lot more sophisticated, and Jello's lyrics are some of the best ever along with Joe Strummer's (R.I.P.).