The Return of Jello

Old punks never die, they just reunite with their former bandmates and start touring again. Just like The Zeroes, the Subhumans, Agent Orange, and Flipper before them, Jello Biafra is back. And if you squeeze your eyes shut while listening his new band, the Guantanamo School of Medicine, it sure as hell sounds like the outspoken punk icon has reformed the Dead Kennedys with his current musical endeavor. While, sadly, a DK reunion tour featuring all the original members is about as likely as Sheriff Joe Arpaio leading an immigrant rights march, the Guantanamo School of Medicine is very much the next best thing. The relentless, chainsaw-like riffs and of experimental licks of axemen Kimo Ball and Ralph Spight (both of San Francisco’s punk outfit The Freak Accident) on such songs as “New Feudalism” and “Three Strikes” sound just like how East Bay Ray and Klaus Fluouride used to blast it out back during the glory days of Ronald Regan’s administration. Jello himself still sounds like a man possessed, screeching hyperbolic polemic about social ills, the War in Iraq, and even the current Obama administration. Unlike many of his many tepid collaborations with the likes of Mojo Nixon or Nomeansno, this is the one project that DK fans have been waiting for. Well, aside from, you know...
Mon., Oct. 26, 7 p.m., 2009
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.

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