Metaphysical Graffiti

The Dead Milkmen

Enigma Records, 1990

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Okay, so we all know The Dead Milkmen was one of the more eclectic bands of the whole ‘80s punk revival, but as they entered the ‘90s, they decided to be as eclectic as humanly possible. The result ended up being their strangest and one of the most entertaining records of their career.

Kicking things off with “Beige Sunshine,” a song that starts off with a full-on children’s choir talking about everything from Bambi to God knows what, the album begins on an interesting note before the band kicks in with a typical high energy track.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Throughout the record, you can tell the band was feeling itchy, so they decided to dick around, not just with the fans but the record company as well. Scattered throughout the disc are little snippets of stories about random redneck scum dreamed up by none other than Rodney Anonymous. These things are about as weird and scattershot as could be and served as one of the strangest things ever released by a major label.

The band’s irreverent sense of humor reigns supreme on this disc. Listen to tracks like “In Praise Of Sha Na Na,” the Gibby Haynes guesting “Anderson, Walkman, Buttholes And How!,” “If You Love Somebody, Set Them On Fire,” and the classic “I Tripped Over The Ottoman” which talks about Dick Van Dyke killing the whole family after stumbling over their beloved furniture just a tad too many times. There’s also a Zeppelin reference at the beginning of “Methodist Coloring Book.” See if you can figure out what it is!

But the coup de grace comes at the very end. The hidden track, now universally known as “Cousin Earl,” talks about a really screwed up redneck family and their screwed up adventures with 1-900 sex numbers, pork sausage, and toxic waste distilleries – really screwed up, awful stuff that really needs to be heard to be believed.

In the end, this was the album that brought an end to The Dead Milkmen’s popularity. After it died a quick death, the band’s label shut down completely and the band was left homeless. After getting a lifeline from Hollywood Records, the band continued on for five more years. But this is the beginning of the end of the Dead Milkmen as we knew them.

Rating: B

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