An iconic punk record that still doesn’t get its due, “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetable” lays out all of what punk should be in one tight album. Intelligent and funny lyricism, smart but straightforward arrangements, frantic and esoteric energy, a profound irreverence for everything and super catchy hooks that make child murder sound fun. The most iconic tracks, “Holiday in Cambodia” and “California Uber Alles,” have been covered and parodied to death even by the Dead Kennedys themselves. Beyond those tracks, the album has other staple songs like “Kill the Poor,” “Chemical Warfare” and a goofy cover of Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas.”
Although not always mentioned, the Dead Kennedys (DK) are one of the great punk bands to emerge from the genre's earliest days. Hailing from San Francisco, DK was one of the best hardcore bands on the West Coast, influencing the genre musically with their surf and rockabilly sensibilities and politically with their charged, often ruthless lyricism. Lead vocalist Jello Biafra’s iconic voice and antics also helped make the band one of the most influential punk bands. From running for mayor to a protracted legal battle with Al Gore’s wife, Biafra was an activist who inspired punks to do more than whine and complain in glorified social clubs.