Friday, October 10, 2014

The Dead Milkmen - Pretty Music For Pretty People

We're now two albums into the resurgence of The Dead Milkmen, and the band still hasn't slowed down. Most punk bands from the 80s and 90s started watering down their sound, becoming more and more mellow and generic. Happily, The Dead Milkmen still sound like The Dead Milkmen. It's almost like they didn't go away, they were just paused for a decade or so before coming back.

Somehow they still seem just as angry as ever. It could be because so many of the same issues they sang about 25 years ago are still relevant. A song like "Right Wing Pigeons" from 1985's Big Lizard in My Backyard still has some of the same themes as "Welcome to Undertown," 29 years later. They even still get to take shots at Ronald Reagan in "Ronald Reagan Killed the Black Dahlia."

It's not all politics that The Dead Milkmen rage against on their new album. "Pretty Music For Pretty People" criticizes today's pop (and rock) stars who don't seem capable or interested in making music that stands for anything besides being something for the pretty people to mindlessly enjoy. "The Great Boston Molasses Flood" remembers one of the more obscure but important historical events from last century and also name checks The Dresden Dolls. "Now I Wanna Hold Your Dog" might be the heaviest thing they've ever recorded. And it wouldn't be a true Dead Milkmen album without truly bizarre songs like "The Sun Turns Our Patio Into a Lifeless Hell."

For anyone worried Pretty Music For Pretty People will tarnish the legacy of The Dead Milkmen, don't be. This could have come out anytime during their entire first run. I can't wait to see what comes next.

For more information, and to order Pretty Music For Pretty People, head over to the band's website. They currently only have two tour dates coming up (10/25 Metro Gallery in Baltimore, MD and 10/26 at Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA) but have promised more, hopefully soon.

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