The Dead Milkmen
Pretty Music For Pretty People
(Quid Ergo Records)

The Dead Milkmen reunited in 2008 after being apart since 1995, and in 2011 released The King In Yellow, now we get a brand new album that is all killer, no filler. With eighteen new songs and almost an hour of music, it’s a treat to hear the band get down to making music that stands out from the boring dreck out there and take me back to high school where I first heard them all those years ago.

Opening with the title track, longtime fans will immediately recognize the sounds of classic Milkmen songs, and what a relief that is. The song is a fast, tight, and a biting tongue-in-cheek rebuttal to the clamor for “pretty music.” As Anonymous explains, “I was hanging out in a club with some friends one night, lamenting the fact that none of our favorite bands could get a scrap of media attention while outlets were pushing the most deplorable, banal, non-threatening, Brooklyn-based pop music onto the world. That’s when one of my friends said ‘I call that shit ‘Pretty music for pretty people.’ I began to imagine an alternative reality – one where The Beatles had lost the war and the Velvet Underground had won, a world where Billy Joel could never get into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame but Kevorkian Death could.” The whole album is lyrically their sharpest to date with snipes at almost everybody who pisses them off; luckily, it’s the same group of assholes that I hate too. Take a look at a few of the titles, “Big Words Make The Baby Jesus Cry,” “Now I Wanna Hold Your Dog,” “The Sun Turns Our Patio Into A Lifeless Hell,” “The Great Boston Molasses Flood,” “All You Need Is Nothing,” “Ronald Reagan Killed The Black Dahlia,” and “Hipster Beard.” You just know that with titles like those that this is going to be a fun ride.

I was glad to see that the sense of fun that these guys have has come back in full force, as well as the high standard of lunacy that I have come to look forward to. The Dead Milkmen have taken their classic sound and expanded it, making them the masters of punk rock satire once more. Highly recommended. (Rick Ecker)

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