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Baker's Dozen

Getting To The Point: Anthony Fantano's Favourite Albums
Max Pilley , January 13th, 2021 09:49

With over two million subscribers to his YouTube channel, Anthony Fantano has caused a revolution in music journalism. In this week's Baker's Dozen he talks Max Pilley through 13 favourite albums, from ODB to MIA, Laurie Anderson and LCD


Dead Kennedys – Plastic Surgery Disasters
As far as hardcore punk goes, this is a defining album, stylistically. Jello Biafra is a punk Nostradamus with his lyrics, his concerns with religious extremism and fascism have mostly borne out to be true and this was back in the 80s he was singing this stuff. The sound of this record is incredible, easily one of the best produced punk albums of all time. The basslines go fucking hard, the drums are crisp and clear as hell and headpounding, the guitar is so bright and shrill, burning fire neon-coloured, the shiniest guitar tone of that era and Jello is a bold, one-of-a-kind vocalist. And that weird throaty vibrato thing he had going on is unmatched. The sharp song topics and killer hooks and the speed at which the band plays on this record is way more intense than what they were doing on their debut, too. You could argue they were going a bit more aggressive and more in a pure hardcore punk expression when they were doing In God We Trust, Inc., but on this record they toned that down a little for some more sensible songwriting.

Whether you're talking about 'Terminal Preppie' or 'Well Paid Scientist' or 'Government Flu', the hooks on this album go hard. It's just a very well-written, fantastically produced, well performed and incredibly written album. The messaging on the first record is a lot easier to get and understand and throw up your fists and chant with in unison, I think that's true of a lot of early punk music, whether you're talking about a song like 'Kill the Poor' or a song like The Clash's 'I'm So Bored with the U.S.A.', for example. But even though I think Plastic Surgery Disasters doesn't exactly have that kind of chorus-writing, I still think it's an incredible album and I think it's the Dead Kennedys' best.