I’ve found myself wallowing in the fragrant mire of less salubrious spiky dreads these past few days, so while we’re in the mood, here is a real howler from those acclaimed troublemakers, Dead Kennedys.
I’ve enjoyed something of a love/hate relationship with DK’s ever since I was a nipper, and whereas these days I definitely err far more on the ‘love’ side, there are still moments when I question that allegiance.
Jello Biafra, as one of punk’s most politically savvy agitators (and on occasion one of its most self-satisfied jerks), has cattily lampooned everything from rich liberals to My Sharona during his prolific career, and so it is no surprise that casual potheads come in for a tongue-lashing also.
Dreadlocks of the Suburbs appears to be a diatribe against the sort of folks who latch onto Rasta culture merely to justify a weed habit. The lyrics lack the focus of Old Jella’s usual rants, however, and the whole is set to an awkward 100mph skank rhythm that ends up sounding more inept than parodic. In the end, it’s easy to see why Jello and pals chose to drop this early number from their set prior to laying down their vitriolic masterwork LP, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables.
Frankly, their stab at disco sounds more convincing: