Artist: "The Dead Milkmen"
Genre: Punk Rock
Review: The Dead Milkmen have three albums that any fan could make a strong argument for being their best: their first album, their last album, and my personal favorite, Beelzebubba. To me, this album most perfectly captures the definitive Dead Milkmen sound, falling right between the raw, almost amateurish punk of Big Lizard in My Backyard and the more polished, genre-dabbling Stoney's Extra Stout (Pig). On top of that, it's fucking hilarious. If I'm introducing someone to the Milkmen, odds are this is the album I'm going to use.
Most comedy music is pretty much a one-trick pony--the songs may be funny but the music is usually utterly forgettable, boring, or leaves something else to be desired. Not so with the Milkmen. Just listen to that sweet, oh-so-pleasing-to-the ear looping guitar riff running through "Stuart". Or the manic violin painting the background of "Born to Love Volcanos" (the solo of which is my favorite musical part of the whole album). And then of course there's the super-catchy "Punk Rock Girl", which is probably their best known song among casual fans. And speaking of the violin, this album probably has more musical experimentation and variety than any of their others, branching out and featuring other instruments like trumpets, accordions, and organs. It may be a little more sophisticated and polished than some of their earliest work, but they obviously hadn't lost any of their edge when they recorded this album. (Their edge unfortunately went away for a couple albums a few years after this but mercifully came back by the end).
In a world where too many bands take themselves way too seriously, bands like the Dead Milkmen are a rare gem. Their songs were fresh, funny, original, and actually have more going for them than just a bunch of cheap laughs. If you've got any kind of sense of humor at all, odds are you'll enjoy the Dead Milkmen. There are a few decent humor bands still playing out there today, but none of them can hold a candle to the Milkmen in my book.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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