I don't fucking know dude. I'm actually very picky with my 10's, only giving the perfect score to some of my favorite records of all time. But this stupid little thing is one of the most thrilling listening experiences I've had in an incredibly long time. I wasn't expecting too much from it but it blew me the fuck away, I can't deny it.
Lately sometimes I'm becoming a little numb towards music, and at times I'm just not as passionate about it as I used to be, and it can be frustrating. This is the first album I've listened to in a couple of months that I was truly fully invested throughout every second. I wasn't that engaged and excited throughout an album for too long. I mostly listen to sad music recently, and I feel like I needed some fun, and this is exactly what I needed. Therefore it's a 10 as of now.
So, this is Dead Kennedys' sophomore album, released in 1982, two years after their excellent debut "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables". Their debut is most likely their most well known project, putting their name on the map and making them one of the most successful hardcore punk bands of the 80's. However, real ones know that this is the project that made them legendary, their true magnum opus and one of the most important punk albums ever made.
Now well, this shit is simply the ultimate head banger album. 42 minutes of adrenaline injected right into your veins until you will pass out or go completely crazy. But it's more than just loud rock music, the album also explores themes that are even more relevant today than they were forty two years ago in a jarring way.
The album's production fucks, yeah, it just fucking fucks really fucking hard. This thing is considered as one of the best hardcore punk albums ever for a reason, it's nonstop intensity and energy from front to back, being genuinely one of the most urgent albums I've heard in recent memory. It consists of brutally abrasive guitars, heavy bass rhythms and extremely fast drum patterns that are giving such an amazing punch to the already intense and visceral mix.
Every single track is insanely fast, noisy, ferocious and fiery, it doesn't matter if it's a two minute song or a five minute one. I can see how one would say that the project is a bit one note, but in my opinion when you actually listen closely every track has a certain aspect that makes it stand out from the rest. If it's a lyrical twist, a unique instrumental passage or a specific song structure. The whole thing is certainly very chaotic and overwhelming but it's fantastically detailed and nuanced simultaneously, and you can discover a new detail or an instrumental layer on every new listen.
These guys are not just trying to play as loud as they possibly can, they are displaying an inexplicable amount of talent throughout the process as well. They are like a well-oiled machine that just keeps banging your head into the wall, with their intricate chord progressions and rhythms, changing tones and different dynamics on every song. It's technically very impressive while being quite instantaneous if you are somewhat used to that type of aggressive music.
This thing is also unbelievably catchy and addictive. I just couldn't stop smiling and nodding throughout the whole damn listen. It captivates you with its infectious grooves and iconic hooks right out of the gate, and its intense nature is only contributing to the shitshow. While the album is playing it's truly unescapable, you either with it or you should stand as far away from it as you possibly can, because if it will catch you it will grab you by the ear and possess you.
If we are talking about Jello Biafra's vocal performances, the dude is a goddamn maniac. It's honestly hard to explain how unhinged and off the rails he is, with his bizarre vocal deliveries and jarring inflections. He always sounds like he is shivering from the crazy amount of adrenaline flowing in his veins. Imagine how Black Midi's vocalist Geordie Greep would sound if he gets cold and you'll have the closest imaginable thing to Jello's performances. His performances are almost a bit theatrical but not in a traditional way, because it seems like he is playing different characters in certain songs. Like he is a raging cult leader who is preaching to his believers if you will. The amount of energy and intensity that he manages to bring to the table is unparalleled, so passionate, expressive and amazingly captivating.
When it comes to the album's themes it's obviously very political, as punk albums from that time used to be. It's criticizing every possible thing, from the US government, our need in popular services such as mechanics, makeups and psychiatry, the increasing depression in our modern societies, to selfish rich fuckers and dumb social behaviors. But the difference between this punk album and the rest of them is that Jello is approaching these subjects with a lot of knowledge and details, with cleverness and intriguing perspectives, more than their rivals and contemporaries.
Thanks to Jello's intelligence the lyrics are genuinely thought-provoking and dense with meaning, despite their somewhat nonsensical and satire nature. His songwriting captures the corrupt and chaotic characteristics of the beginning of the 80's accurately, and this album stands as a twisted portrait of America at the time. Sadly, many of the subjects are even more relevant and crucial today, which shows how we decayed further as a society.
If its forward thinking themes aren't enough to prove that the album has aged phenomenally, you can look at the production as well. Countless abrasive post-hardcore/noise rock projects have been released since then, yet this album can match every one of them and even surpass the vast majority quite easily in terms of sheer heaviness, energy and volume. It still sounds impeccably fresh after more than 40 very long years, which is not an easy task.
I also adore how damn consistent this album is. Even if I try I can't really find an underwhelming track among its 14 songs. And it contains an unfair amount of highlights such as Government Flu, Terminal Preppie, Well Paid Scientist, Forest Fire, Riot, I Am the Owl and Moon Over Marin which are some of my personal favorites.
Overall, Plastic Surgery Disasters is a bizarrely exceptional masterpiece that is as absurd, wild and off-the-wall as much as it is brilliant, thought-provoking and clever. I don't know if it will stay a 10 for me, maybe I'll lower the score once this stupid smile will get off my face, or not. It just goes SO MOTHERFUCKINGLY FUCKING HARD WTF?!!?!?!?!!?
Favorite: Too many
Least favorite: Advice from Christmas Past (I guess lol)