By `Rebel' Rod Ames
Meat Puppets has been in and out of the spotlight from time to time over the last 30 years, dating back to their formative years in the 80's. There have been ups, downs; they've been turned upside down and sideways; you get the picture. The band has been all over the map, both figuratively and literally speaking.
Meat Puppets had an extremely large persuasion on many bands, but the most notable influence would have to be Nirvana who recorded Meat Puppet's "Lake of Fire".
Their latest record, "Lollipop" shows a level of maturity I never expected from Meat Puppets co-founders Cris and Curt Kirkwood. In addition, I wasn't sure the two components, "mature" and Meat Puppets would or could necessarily result in a good thing. After listening to "Lollipop", believe me, it is a fantastic thing.
"Lollipop" is Meat Puppets at their most talented. The distinct vocalizations, and rhythmic triads all bind together to aid Meat Puppets in retaining their own identity. There was not a single instance where I found myself making comparisons to anyone else. It is all Meat Puppets throughout.
Cris and Curt Kirkwood have managed to reinvent themselves by simply returning to what makes them so good - THEM. These twelve original songs seem more expertly crafted than ever, displaying to the world they have grown and matured into a much tighter band.
Literally, every song on the album is right on. Each song is almost perfect in every way and each song has separate, yet very much Meat Puppet's own sonically gratifying signature written all over it.
In 2009, they re-added Shandon Sahm, who originally signed on in 1999, as their drummer. He is solid all the way through, serving to hold everything together, allowing the different sections of the music to work so solidly in unanimity.
Of the records twelve very solid tunes, and if I had a gun held to my head being forced to pick one song on the record as my favorite, I'd probably choose "Baby Don't". It possesses that wickedly cool twangy Austin "cowpunk" sound, while maintaining the much written about Meat Puppet style.
Meat Puppets have certainly had a career that at times seemed rudderless, but with "Lollipop", they appear to have found their way and are definitely back on track.
The album released April 12th on MegaForce Records.
`Rebel' Rod says definitely check it out!