The Lemonheads

Favorite Spanish Dishes

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British indie Roughneck drops the ball with this three-song 1993 reissue of the Lemonheads' 1991 EP Favorite Spanish Dishes. Obviously rolled out with the intention of capitalizing on the success of the band's cover of the Simon & Garfunkel classic "Mrs. Robinson," it nevertheless eliminates two of the three covers (New Kids on the Block's "Step By Step," so faithful to the original that it's impossible to know where parody ends and homage begins, and the Misfits' "Skulls," made over to resemble something you might hear on the local coffeehouse's open-mike night) that made the original incarnation of Favorite Spanish Dishes muy bueno. So listeners are left with two Evan Dando originals, "Ride With Me" and "Paint" -- neither of them more than middling -- and a phenomenal reading of Michael Nesmith's "Different Drum," originally a hit for Linda Ronstadt's Stone Poneys. Nesmith and Dando have always seemed like different points along the same continuum anyway, both of them vastly underrated pop tunesmiths rooted in country music with real gifts for melody and wry lyrics, and the Lemonheads' disaffected, slacker take on the tune is a natural. In any case, it's worth the effort and the expense to track down the original EP -- accept no substitutes.

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