Meat Puppets Rat Farm on LP
Rat Farm is the new Megaforce Records release from the Meat Puppets and the band's 14th studio album overall. The release features the Kirkwood brothers’ almost-there harmonies, latticed guitar work and the sort of mind-bending psychedelic sound that cements their contribution to the cosmic country genre, stretching back to the Louvin Brothers and beyond.
The 12 original tracks on Rat Farm are confident and colorful with the playfully droll, surreal lyrics that have become a Puppets trademark. It’s a strong statement from a band entering its fourth decade of a career that’s been legendary since they exploded on the ’80s underground punk scene. They came from a scene that was DIY from cradle to grave and has shaped American musical culture ever since. To this day, they’ve remained true to that ethic, continuing to call the shots on their career. Rat Farm finds producer, songwriter and arranger Curt Kirkwood constructing - in his words - “real blown-up folk music.”
“I tried to write stuff that would stand on its own, just the chords and the melodies, and play it kind of straight,” he says of the songs on Rat Farm. “I think that was the guiding boundary that I gave myself. It was one of those things where a lot of times, in the past especially, Cris would go, ‘Well, that’s all there is? Let’s put a prog rock part in the middle.’ But I tried to hold off as much as I could.”
Part of the original West Coast punk/hardcore explosion, the Meat Puppets were the wayward desert punks of the bunch, injecting their cosmic country leanings to create their own sound. It may not have endeared them to the hardcore generation, but the Puppets were too musical not to evolve. Along the way, they earned the admiration of a global pantheon of critics and rock music peers.
The certified classics reach back to Meat Puppets I, II, and Up On The Sun, and have been book-ended by recent releases Sewn Together and Lollipop. With brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood reunited in 2009 and the 2012 release of the band’s graphic tell-all biography, Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets, the Puppets’ iconic status is cemented.
The instinctive confidence that comes with decades of honing their craft keeps the Meat Puppets pure and relevant. With Rat Farm, the Meat Puppets shine like the crazy diamonds they are and will always be. They’ve never tried to second-guess their fans or worry about relevance, and in the end, what could be more punk rock than that?
Meat Puppets Rat Farm Track Listing:
1. Rat Farm
2. One More Drop
4. Leave Your Head Alone
6. You Don’t Know
8. Time and Money
9. Sometimes Blue
10. Original One
11. River Rose