Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine
"The Audacity of Hype"

(Alternative Tentacles Records 2009)Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine - The Audacity of Hype

Meet brand new rock band Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine. OK, so they're not "new" in terms of needing introductions - you may have heard of this Biafra guy before - but "The Audacity of Hype" is the group's debut full-length. Despite his dabbling with other bands over the years, such as the Melvins, this is the first project that Biafra's helmed solo. And, let's be honest, whenever someone considered to be a legend of sorts makes a return, there's always some well deserved trepidation. Why ruin the image, the memory and the music of a great band with a new attempt? It goes without saying that the Dead Kennedys will be the ruler by which this new project is measured.

With all that said, Biafra's band - Ralph Spight, Kimo Ball, Jon Weiss and Billy Gould - really make this album. Their high energy rock is believable and not merely a background for Biafra's vocals. Biting guitar riffs with the edge of Dick Dale on steroids make it pretty difficult to forget the Dead Kennedys. Amped up and ready to go, tracks like "Clean As A Thistle" tear by before "Three Strikes" takes on a raging Western gunslinger sound.

Any caution with which you approach "The Audacity of Hype" is, luckily, unnecessary. Sure, it's partly same story/different day and, sure, it's no Dead Kennedys, but who said it would be? Biafra and company churn out a record that sounds tight, packs a punch and delivers the kicking attitude you've come to expect from the outspoken frontman. Also, brownie points should be award for Shepard Fairey's contribution of the album cover.

B+

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