Many bands break up at the right time, or at least a little past it, but the Lemonheads' disbandment seemed premature, particularly because it didn't seem like they officially broke up; they just faded away. For Lemonheads leader Evan Dando, it was a surprisingly quick fall from glory -- or at least from being a Sassy star and one of People's Most Beautiful People, touted as the next big thing after Kurt Cobain, to being alt-rock's most notorious also-ran. Not long after the group's fourth album for Atlantic, 1996's Car Button Cloth, he quietly pulled the plug on the group and slinked away from the spotlight, taking a long, long time to recharge.
There's no overwhelming ambition evident in Evan Dando's second album since his rehabilitation from drug addiction, no sense that he wants to do anything more than create sweet-natured power pop. But when the result is as good as Become the Enemy, the first single to be released from The Lemonheads, why aim for anything more? That, and the equally lovely Rule of Three and No Backbone, with squealing guitar from Dinosaur Jr frontman J Mascis, are the kind of time-erasing songs that could make us believe Dando is still the heart-throb he was in the early 1990s. That said, there's a broken feeling about this album, a resignation that reflects the trouble of the intervening years.