Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine
Wednesday 8 May 2013
Jello Biafra, the former frontman and chief-agitator for legendary U.S. punks Dead Kennedys, returns to New Zealand this May for his first band performances since 1983’s infamous DKs gig at Auckland’s Mainstreet.
Biafra’s band The Guantanamo School Of Medicine features former Rollins Band and Ween bassist Andrew Weiss, drummer Paul Della Pelle (Helios Creed / Nik Turners' Space Ritual) and the twin guitar attack of Ralph Spight (Victims Family) and Kimo Ball.
Formed in 2009 after Jello was inspired by The Stooges performance at Iggy Pop's 60th birthday and a rare Stateside visit from Australia's Radio Birdman, Jello & Guantanamo... quickly recorded an album, The Audacity Of Hype released to immense anticipation via Jello's Alternative Tentacles label. Fans were not disappointed. Audacity... retained some of the spy-music-on-meth chaos of the Dead Kennedys while adding a healthy dose of Detroit style proto-punk mixed with layer upon layer of sonic guitar noise. In short: it rocks.
EP's in each of 2011 and 2012 followed before the release this year of a second album White People and the Damage Done, Jello's first concept album since the Dead Kennedys Frankenchrist album in 1985. White People... tackles in gruesome detail: corruption, US foreign policy, media lies, and tabloid scandal in much greater detail than even Biafra's talking albums could manage all mixed with a heavy dose of melody and Jello's trademark wise-guy delivery.
Biafra explodes on stage, hands flailing, eyes on stalks, there is a madness in the house and it's utterly compelling. It's the same sort of acid barbed political and social commentary, hilarious, and terrifying at the same time, the dark humour pouring out of the songs in that superb helium voice. - LOUDER THAN WAR
After 30-plus years, Jello Biafra's music and lyrics remain in a class of their own. Anyone interested in Dead Kennedys won't be disappointed to hear how Jello has not changed with the times. He has continuously spoken the truth and has never waivered from his principles - Jello Biafra is more relevant now than he has ever been!