Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death Review

artist: Dead Kennedys date: 09/19/2007 category: compact discs
Dead Kennedys: Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death
Release Date: 1987
Label: Alternative Tentacles
Genres: American Underground, Hardcore Punk, American Punk, Anarchist Punk
Number Of Tracks: 17
Hounded by political enemies and reaching their personal breaking point, the Kennedys bowed with a retrospective of some of their fiercest, finest moments.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
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reviews (2) 7 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death Reviewed by: coked.up.pansy, on april 18, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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." // 9

Lyrics: 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." // 10

Overall Impression: 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! // 10

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overall: 9
Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 19, 2007
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Sound: Give Me Convenience is a collection of Dead Kennedys Early Singles, B-Sides and other rarities. As a result some of the songs aren't the best quality, but that doesn't detract from the quality of the songs themselves. The riffs are hard and fast. In addition to popular early singles like "Police Truck" and "Too Drunk Too F--k", it contains rare live performances of songs only performed once, and never seen again on any album. Like their surprise anti-New Wave song "Pull My Strings" and the improvised, bebop style "Night Of The Living Rednecks". The sound quality varies from song to song, but just about every song on the album is great and worth a listen. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics are about 90% politically fueled, quite often sarcastically done. Such as "Police Truck" which is an anti-police brutality song done through the eyes of a police force abusing it's power. This kind of style is used a lot, like in "Pull My Strings" where it is sung in the perspective of a music artist who sells out to the record company and only writes music for the money. No one is a better fit for this band than Jello Biafra. His rare, sarcastic voice allows for both humor and toughness to get through in each song. His vocals sometimes come off as just plain yelling like many punk rock artists out there, but it still works in some of these cases. Notably on songs like "Straight A's". // 9

Overall Impression: This is album is hard, fast and enjoyable. I can't put it down. Highlights include the original single versions of their hits "Holiday in Cambodia" and "California Uber Alles" as well as other greats either never released, like "Police Truck", "Insight", and "Pull My Strings". I find myself singing these songs over and over in my head and I just can't get enough of this band. While some are just random foolishness like "Buzzbomb from Passadena" and "Short Songs" most are great. This is my first Dead Kennedys album and I think it's a good starter, although their first album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables may be a better starter. If you like the Dead Kennedys though, or just punk rock in general, this album is a must have. // 10

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