Review of The Lemonheads album Varshons.
Produced by Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes and released on The End Records, Varshons is a collection of covers songs from the likes of Wire, Leonard Cohen, Linda Perry and more.
Leaving The Lemonheads noisy, grungy roots at the door, most of the songs are sung in the style of Southern country/soft rock but that's where frontman Evan Dando is seemingly at his best at here. He brings a great deal of warmth to songs such as G.G Allin's 'Layin' Up With Linda', Townes Van Zandt's 'Waiting Around To Die' and FuckEmos 'Mexico'.
Whilst it's certainly not all plain sailing, Dando also manages to maintain some dignity with bigger challenges such as: Linda Perry's 'Beautiful' (originally sung by Christina Aguilera) and Leonard Cohen's 'Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye' (featuring guest vocals from actress Liv Tyler). However, Varshons biggest downfall is the astonishing transition to tacky electro pop in 'Dirty Robot'. The massive and vastly unwarranted shift in style is an even bigger shock than the appearance of Kate Moss on vocals.
Whilst The Lemonheads Varshons is reasonably well executed, ultimately, it's just a listenable covers album. Unless you're an avid fan of the band, you would probably be best advised to wait for the expected ninth album from the Boston outfit.