Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine - Clean As A Thistle by AlternativeTentacles published on 2012/06/18 23:20:26 +0000 In the twenty or so years since his brainchild, The Dead Kennedys, officially disbanded, Jello Biafra has made a career of spoken word gigs interspersed with musical collaborations with some of the most compelling figures in underground music. Recording projects and touring with the likes of Melvins, NoMeansNo, DOA, Mojo Nixon, and Lard (with Ministry's Al Jorgensen) among others have kept his "punk as political weapon" message sharp, but the lack of his own band made these collaborations usually short-lived and left Biafra with a ton of songs that never saw the light of day. The Audacity of Hype was produced by Biafra and engineered by hip hop producer and longtime co-conspirator Matt Kelley (Hieroglyphics, The Coup, Digital Underground, Victims Family, Tumor Circus) at Prairie Sun Recording in Cotati, CA, and San Francisco's Hyde Street Studios. The band's twin guitar attack retains some of the space-punk overtones and spy-music-on-meth chaos of The Dead Kennedys while adding a healthy dose of Detroit-style proto-punk flavored with Weiss' industrial excursions into metal percussion. Topically, the album explores how the forced Iraqnophobia and Homeland Insecurity continues to feed lawlessness at the top ("The Terror of Tiny Town") vs. a runaway police state and class war toward the bottom ("Three Strikes" and "Electronic Plantation," originally done by The No WTO Combo, Biafra's one-off collaboration with Krist Novelselic and Kim Thayil). "Clean as a Thistle" becomes more timely every day as "family values" blowhards from Sanford to Berlusconi are caught in sinful trysts, while album closer "I Won't Give Up" offers an Age of Obama anthem on how change comes from agitation from below, not from glamour and sound bites from the top.