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If you’re wondering whether the new Meat Puppets compares to the old Meat Puppets, you’re reading the wrong review.
Although I’ve heard of the name for years, it wasn’t until last year that I even heard a single Meat Puppets song. A friend of mine was in town for the first time, and the Meat Puppets show at Stubb’s amphitheatre was the only thing that really caught his attention.
We went, and even though I was unfamiliar with pretty much everything the band played, I was left rather impressed.
So I bought Golden Lies when I saw it on the CD rack.
Now if you’re a long-time Meat Puppets fan wondering what non-Meat Puppets fans think of a post-Cris Kirkwood Meat Puppets album, you’re reading the right review.
And, yeah, it’s pretty good. Enjoyable, even.
For some reason, I remember the songs being a lot rockier and louder than how they turned out on CD, but how often do studio recordings ever capture live performances?
It’s obvious from the breadth of the material on Golden Lies that Curt Kirkwood has been around a while. His hooks and riffs sound like they came out of 1981 instead of 1991.
The opening guitar line on “Armed and Stupid” could have been the source material for a lot of Soundgarden songs. (Oh, wait — maybe it was.) “I Quit” could have been an R.E.M. outtake circa 1986. “Batwing” contains a dissonant hook that many bands are too scared to write nowadays.
For a band credited to being progenators of grunge, Golden Lies comes across as being a slick, big rawk album, but Kirkwood’s nasal deadpan is a refreshing break from all the gargling-the-Clorox singers like that guy in Creed.
And who can resist the polka-like beat of “Push the Button” with its cryptic chorus: “The ocean’s parted for the boiling ice cream vendor/The codor circles in the vapor up above/The misses cheering/As the worm depart the apple/The old machinery/Has registered its love.”
If Golden Lies is good enough for someone who’s never heard of the Meat Puppets, maybe it’s good enough for someone who has? Yeah. I know. Not always.