The Dead Milkmen

Fever/Enigma, 1988

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


At their peak, both commercially and creatively, the Milkmen broke through the mainstream with “Punk Rock Girl,” a giddy, gleeful, accordion-driven little number that became their most identifiable track and has gone on to be covered by dozens of punk bands since. But that’s just one of the many standouts present here.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Kicking off with one of my personal favorites, the little mandolin ditty “Brat In The Frat,” the band takes apart all sorts of idiots, from morons in fraternities to rednecks in the classic “Stuart” and druggies on “Bleach Boys.” The band also covets things that others have on “Everybody’s Got Nice Stuff But Me.”

The musicianship is the best one will ever hear on a Milkmen record, from the mandolins and accordions to the fast punk fury of “I Against Osbourne,” another personal favorite. The band slows things down a bit on album closer “Life Is Shit.” They get very reflective and almost melancholic about life and what it all means, featuring of Bob Crane and little Baptist girls holding their pretty hands. It’s all very deep stuff.

The band also tackles that heady subject: The Beatles. “Ringo Buys A Rifle” gives the idea of Ringo Starr losing his mind and attacking the rest of the band over his lack of anything to do in in the group. Clearly one is dealing with a band that finds it incredibly difficult to take themselves too seriously. Fortunately, what you get here is a collection of songs that still stands up 30 years later and helped to cement the Milkmen as one of the essential punk bands of the ‘80s post-hardcore era.

Rating: A-

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