SUBURBAN LAWNS: Self-titled: LP

Jan 21, 2022

Originally released in 1981, Suburban Lawns’ debut was one from a band able to fluidly vacillate across a widening punk/new wave chasm. Throughout the fourteen tracks here, the band takes whip-smart swipes at American culture atop a bedrock of idiosyncratic approaches to pop propelled by often-frenetic beats, hiccup-rhythms and top-notch musicianship—Devo meets Sparks meets South Bay hardcore’s pulse, if you will. All told, they dangle in the smack-dab-middle of that aforementioned chasm and are by turns razor-tight in precision, slyly funny, and steeped in an almost claustrophobic paranoia as they torch the ubiquitous, persistent myth of Southern California as a tanned (yet still uniformly, uncompromisingly “white”) suburban beach utopia. Superior Viaduct’s new vinyl edition looks and sounds great, with lyrics, liner notes, and pictures all featuring in the packaging. Some forty years later, this LP is still way ahead of the curve, is no less biting and remains a crucial listen. –Jimmy Alvarado (Superior Viaduct, superiorviaduct.com)

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