Meat Puppets - "Meat Puppets II" CD Review (MVD Audio) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Meat Puppets - "Meat Puppets II" CD Review (MVD Audio)

DOWNLOAD: Meat Puppets - Instrumental Rough Mixes from the "Meat Puppets II" Sessions

(Note: Download link posted to by Meat Puppets drummer Derrick Bostrom)

Meat Puppets - 'Meat Puppets II' CD Review (MVD Audio)The Meat Puppets' second disc, Meat Puppets II (originally issued in 1984), has aged well. This disc was a major leap forward, both sonically and musically, from its predecessor and started the band down the acid-drenched, country-punk path that defined their later releases. The Meat Puppets played this disc in its entirety as part of ATP's "Don't Look Back" series in 2008 and every review of the disc mentions that Nirvana performed three tracks from this disc during their MTV Unplugged appearance.

This reissue extends the disc's original twelve tracks with seven bonus tracks to bring the total running time up to 48 minutes and the disc also contains the promo video for"New Gods" (embedded above). Six of the seven bonus tracks are a mix of demos and outtakes (which include a Rolling Stones cover) but the seventh track, "Teenager" (1982), shows how the band's song writing was evolving away from their punk roots even prior to the recoding of Meat Puppets II. In the disc's liner notes, Derrick Bostrom said "The Take It! cut "Teenager(s)" was joining of two songs, the speedy first part by Cris and me and the slower part by Curt. Never much of a fan of punk rock, he drew instead upon his own tastes, creating a unique combination of country, psychedelia and country rock. The success of "Teenager(s)" encouraged us to get more ambitious on our next album (Meat Puppets II)."

Meat Puppets II established Curt as the band's principle songwriter and Curt cites Neil Young as one of his primary influences. “The Neil thing goes back to stuff that I grew up on even before I heard Neil,” Curt said. “But I think he gave me the confidence, knowing that rockers could play rock, and then cross over. Neil was one of the only people who ever did it, for some reason. But we got tired of playin’ punk rock, that was it, I guess. We realized we could do the other stuff, so…we had been listening to Fleetwood Mac, and Creedence, and Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. And Neil Young, a lot. Those kind of bands. And I guess Meat Puppets II kind of showed our influences more than any other of our records did."

Many of the songs from this disc are still in the Meat Puppets' current setlist and, aside for a short digressions into hardcore with "Split Myself In Two" and "New Gods" and the freaked-out psychedelia of "Lake of Fire", "Plateau" (below) is fairly indicative of the overall sound of the disc.

There is a good reason that this disc was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die...

Meat Puppets