Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine

White People & the Damage Done

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Still disenfranchised about American society and riled up about it, the former Dead Kennedys singer takes issue with Wall Street, Hollywood, consumer nature, fast food, and white people in general on Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine's third album, White People & the Damage Done. Backed by a musically fierce band that includes Ween/Butthole Surfers bassist Andrew Weiss, drummer Paul Della Pelle, and guitarists Ralph Spight and Kimo Ball, the 54-year-old frontman sounds as spirited as he did in his early days. In fact, for the fast, furious "Road Rage" and "Mid-East Peace Process," he and his band match the blistering energy of early-'80s American hardcore staples like Black Flag (good to see that Keith Morris' OFF! isn't the only group carrying the torch) and, yes, the Kennedys. Forced by age into the suburban lifestyle he once rallied against, Biafra sounds positively spiteful as he yells "I hate the malls and I hate credit cards/I hate my neighbors and the dogs in the yard!" or shames reality TV, wondering "What the hell is a Kardashian/Should Snooky be allowed to reproduce?" His voice is strong and he continues to prove himself a threat as an exceptionally sharp and witty lyricist. Meanwhile, the band takes risks, incorporating styles like rockabilly and classic rock into its punk fusion in a way that's dizzying but never disconcerting. Of course, fans know what they are getting by this stage in the game, but even they might be pleasantly surprised.

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