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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Meat Puppets II

Meat Puppets

1984

Buy At Rough Trade
Meat Puppets II
Album Summary

Meat Puppets II is the second album by the Phoenix, Arizona band the Meat Puppets, released in 1984. It is a departure from their self-titled debut album, which consisted largely of noisy hardcore with unintelligible vocals. It covers many genres from country-style rock ("Magic Toy Missing", "Climbing" and Lost") to slow acoustic songs ("Plateau" and "Oh, Me") to psychedelic guitar effects ("Aurora Borealis" and "We’re Here"). The cover art is by Curt Kirkwood and Neal Holliday. Rykodisc reissued the album in 1999 with extra tracks and B-sides, including a cover of the Rolling Stones' Aftermath-era track "What To Do." The Meat Puppets' SST labelmates Minutemen covered "Lost" on the live EP Tour-Spiel and their last studio album, 3-Way Tie (For Last). Three of the album's songs were covered by Nirvana (as the Kirkwood brothers joined them onstage) during their "Unplugged" show for MTV ("Plateau", "Oh, Me", and "Lake of Fire").

Wikipedia

Rating

3

Votes

10577

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Wed Sep 20 2023
5

This scuzzy, varied and occasionally beautiful album continues to surprise me, 15 years since I thought I'd check out the band that wrote the best bits of Nirvana Unplugged. On a good day, it's in my all time top 10.

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Fri Apr 07 2023
2

Woof, vocals rough. The instrumentals were pretty good, but not good enough to redeem.

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Mon Sep 25 2023
2

Like being stuck at a party with an annoying know it all who thinks that they’re much cleverer and edgier than they are. Or talking to an ‘artist’ who has no clue, and turns out they’re a real estate agent and cross fit trainer. Boring, annoying and really not worth anything.

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Thu May 18 2023
1

Not only do I hate this but I hate anyone who likes it.

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Wed Oct 04 2023
2

I think this is pretty rubbish. The songs don't have much form to them at all, they're just kind of loose and chaotic. I don't like the singing at all. It's so whiny and weak and nothing. It's kind of telling that the best track is the instrumental one.

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Thu Jun 29 2023
5

Yes, yes and yes. Give me that dissonant noisy goodness. This is just so raw and honest that I can’t find it anything less than perfect.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
2

I sometimes think the requirement to get on this list is to have an album that is anti-melody. I suppose the art of Rock n Roll is being anti-establishment and not sounding like old people. If that’s the requirement for this list, then this album qualifies. I just enjoy melody with my protest poetry. This album had a mixture of out of tune guitars and screaming vocals, ala Nirvana without the heroin. But then it had some beats that had me tapping my fingers. So there’s something there… 2.1/5.

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Tue Feb 14 2023
5

We're all just a bunch of Meat Puppets controlled by the evil corporate government and secret societies. They all tell me that I should give this five stars... "Thank you, sir. May I have another...

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Thu Mar 09 2023
5

9/10 fantastic album it’s just so fun and weird I like Up on the Sun a little bit more, it’s got a more proggy edge to it but yeah both these albums are great

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Tue May 30 2023
5

One of the best American Guitar albums ever made.

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Tue Oct 24 2023
5

This is a foundational album. It sees the Meat Puppets soften their punk/hardcore edge and introduce elements of country rock. The result is an incredibly textured album that is punctuated by the half screamed lead vocals. As a whole it just works. It's fascinating how much I can hear the rumblings of grunge in this album. I knew I would have to reckon with the Meat Puppets eventually, but I am very glad I did.

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Wed Aug 23 2023
4

Love this - besides the big songs that Nirvana made famous, the whole album is a mish-mash of punk psychedelia, country rock and generally good vibes. It's especially more unique due to it's rough edges, which kind of puts in a class of it's own.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
4

Wasn't convinced by this but it grew on me. The singers voice can be quite grating. I listened again this morning and enjoyed it much more. Think I preferred the slower songs. Recognised "lake of fire" but not sure where from. Highlights: Split myself in two Plateau Aurora borealis Think I'll probably be back! 3.5 but feeling generous

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Wed Apr 05 2023
3

Compare this album's average rating of 2.97 against Nirvana's Nevermind rating of Nevermind at 4.41 and come up with a head scratcher. Nirvana was essentially a Meat Puppets cover band and because some guy bit into the wrong end of a shotgun, they have the third highest rated album on this list. Nirvana is and was overrated. Meat Puppets are all over the place and can't follow a musical thread. 3/5.

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Wed Apr 05 2023
3

pleasingly weird but so noodly

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Fri Aug 04 2023
2

Man this was a rough one and I'm only giving 2 stars because the Instrumentation was pretty good, because otherwise I cannot point to one song on the album I enjoyed, I thought it was really bad actually. I think there's fun to be had for sure but the lead vocalist cannot sing for shit and that ruins almost every song on here I genuinely was considering giving it the lowest score for that but upon reflection it has energy to it, the instrumentation is good and I respect what it's going for but none of the songs are good so going to slap it with 2 stars baby.

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

Just great! I knew it before but listening to it always makes fun

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Fri Aug 04 2023
5

I was sitting there listening to this album thinking, \"wow, this sounds very similar to some of the early Ween stuff,\" low and behold the Dean Ween and Meat Puppets at one point did tour so that slight hunch was correct. Yeah, bloody loved it. A quirky but upbeat album, good stuff. Wish there were a few more vocal tracks is all, just to hear more great stuff from them! Stand out songs: - Plateau - New Gods - What To Do - Aura Borealis - I know I said I wanted more vocal tracks but this is good stuff right here!

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Thu Aug 24 2023
5

One of the most important albums in my life. The Whistling Song is my song until the day I die.

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Wed Sep 20 2023
5

Phenomenal. Never gets old, so great and never duplicated. One of the best albums ever recorded. 10/10

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

I feel like so many of these 80s bands just flew under my radar. Probably because I was like four years old when this came out. But I think even my four-year-old self would have liked this. It's whimsical and light without ever becoming cloying, with some great tunes and lovely noodley little guitar bits. Just a perfectly formed album.

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Fri Nov 03 2023
5

What a fun album. It’s punk. It’s rockabilly. It’s country rock. It’s just a boatload of fun.

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

Great album, realized I already knew a couple of the songs as Nirvana had covered those on their Unplugged live album.

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Sun Dec 03 2023
5

If it wasn't for Nirvana I would have never heard of the Meat Puppets. Now they show up on this list. It is Effing great! Standouts: Plateau, Lost, Magic Toy Missing, Aurora Borealis, Climbing, Oh Me, Lake of Fire, What to Do (bonus), 100% of Nothing (Bonus) Others: Split Myself in Two, We're Here, New Gods, I'm a Mindless Idiot, Whistling Song 4.5

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Mon Dec 25 2023
5

This album is lightning in a bottle, I have always loved it. It taps so many areas that interest me and pulls them together in a way nobody else had done before, punk, country. Beat poetry, psychedelic and a touch of humor. All beautifully played. I do think It’s one of the greatest albums.

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

I've only heard of Meat Puppets from the Nirvana Unplugged album, which means I was already familiar with three songs off this album. I've always wanted to check them out because of that and I'm loving this so far. I wasn't expecting so much rockabilly/country in their sound. Combined with some fuzzed out grunge guitar and punk style, it adds up to an awesome sound. It's just rough and loose enough to sound feral and weird but the musicianship and songwriting are still excellent. The country/folk instrumentals on this are fantastic. This is one of my favorite albums from the list in a while. Great songs and a unique style. I’m curious to dig into the lyrics a little more.

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Fri Jan 26 2024
5

Nirvana did covers of "Oh, Me", "Plateau", and "Lake of Fire", but I think that Meat Puppets did it better.

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Sat Feb 24 2024
5

Seminal record. Just an absolute classic from an underrated band.

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Wed Feb 28 2024
5

I had no idea how influential this album was to Kurt Cobain until I listened to it.

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Wed Mar 13 2024
5

This was unlike anything I had heard before. I liked it!

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Mon Mar 18 2024
5

I really enjoyed this album. It's sort of crazy and off the wall, with tons of different sounds and styles. And the one singer's voice can take a while to get used to. But I really loved listening to it and listened to it twice back to back.

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Mon Mar 18 2024
5

Great record that showcases their ability to thrash or twang. Never gets old.

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Mon Mar 18 2024
5

I imagine if an early 70's Jerry Garcia did a collaboration with Minor Threat it might sound a little like the Meat Puppets. The band is a 5 star band, this album might fall a little short of 5 stars for me but I'll round it up.

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Tue Mar 19 2024
5

I love this era of music. Reminds me of The minutemen or the strapping fieldhands, or the gibson brothers. Punk bros who are influenced by country music and just get in and pick like crazy to some pretty uptempo stuff. i love it.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
5

An album that I hadn't spent too much time before but short enough to listen a few times today. I enjoyed it very much.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

BL: This album is absolutely one of my favourites of all time. From the first time I heard plateau when I was maybe 17 approaching 18, working a job in a kitchen far out in the middle of the woods I felt some kind of deep resonance with it. \"There ain't nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop, and an illustrated book about birds\", has got to be one of my favourite lyrics of all time, period. The guitar in this album is phenomenal and the tones created are truly unique. This was the best time of year to get this album too, quickly approaching the summertime and the first day of the year I'm wearing shorts to work. The summer vibes from this album are immaculate, and I'm glad this is the first album to mark the start of the summer 2024 listening season. It is also around the year anniversary since I started my journey. Very cool stuff. AL: Nothing much to add besides this holds up and only continues to age like a fine wine FT: "Plateau", "Aurora Borealis", "Climbing", "Lake of Fire" 5/5

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Thu Apr 11 2024
5

Easy 5 and new favorite album!

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Mon Apr 22 2024
5

Although the production on this album was some of the worst I've ever heard in my life, I can absolutely understand why an album like this is on the list. This is unique and solid songcraft and I absolutely see the historical significance.

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Fri Apr 26 2024
5

It's honestly a perfect album.

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Fri Apr 26 2024
5

Oof, that was great. So many great ideas put coherently together within only 30 minutes of music. I can see why it has to be on this list and the influence it might have had on generations of musicians. It's also actually the first time I listen to the original versions of Plateau, Oh Me and Lake of Fire; that was fun.

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Sun May 12 2024
5

Бля ну просто классика нахуй

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Wed May 22 2024
5

Fuck yeah. I was so happy to see this on the list. This is a great mashup of a lot of stuff that I love. Just an acid fueled backyard singalong vibe.

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Thu May 30 2024
5

i had never listened to this album, though i was aware of the meat puppets before this as a big nirvana influence and one of those "weird" bands like ween. this totally exceeded whatever expectations i had for it. the great instrumentation, the genre exploration, the eccentric and odd vocals, the art on the cover, everything was just wacky and cool. i definitely understand how people wouldn't like this, but it kinda made my day. listened to it twice and added a bunch of songs to my current playlists. favorites: tracks 1-2, 4-5, and 8-13

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Sat Jun 01 2024
5

Laid back indie rock whose influence you can hear in many bands that came after, especially one in particular.

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Sun Jun 02 2024
5

Somehow the meat puppets have always been just outside my radar. I missed out, this was great. I'll definitely listen again.

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Thu Feb 16 2023
4

The Meat Puppets are one of those hardcore punk bands on SST that evolved to a more mainstream sound, from fast and loud to chill and low key. I have Meat Puppets II on both vinyl and cassette, despite the fact I'm not a huge follower of the band. The first record was too fast and unintelligible, while their albums after II were a bit boring for my taste. On the second album, I compare it to the Replacements, Hootenanny album, their breakthrough record where their sound brought in more musical genres, styles and wrote more accessible songs. For me, this album was my sweet-spot, I still enjoyed the off-key vocals, ragged, sometimes off putting songs and it was punk enough to keep my interest. Though their sound is not for everyone's taste, I really like this album. Love the cover art too!

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Mon Feb 27 2023
4

- Drunk rock and roll -Cowpunk - Fun project ( will probably grow on me )

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Sun Mar 05 2023
4

A wild ride. But behind the slight sillyness there is some excellent songwriting, I even enjoyed the songs with country elements. I was surprised to hear some songs Nirvana covered/popularised

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Mon Mar 06 2023
4

Pretty easy to see why Kurt Cobain would be into these guys. They did it better without him. Best track: Lake of Fire

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Thu Apr 06 2023
4

Had no idea what to expect from this one but really enjoyed it a lot! Punk light, if that's a thing. Shocked that it was made in the '80s, feels much more recent. Lots of excellent guitar work and melodies on here, I especially loved all the instrumental tracks on the back end. It seems like a few of the track titles repeated for me, but I don't think it was the same song twice. Anyway, plenty to love on here. This is the sort of unknown album that I love to get on this journey! Favorite tracks: Magic Toy Missing, Oh Me, Lake of Fire, I'm a Mindless Idiot, 100% of Nothing, Aurora Borealis. Album art: Abstract, melting colors. Reminds me of that Action Brown Cocodrilo Turbo cover if you left in the sun a few days. Pretty cool. 4/5

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Wed Apr 12 2023
4

This was much better than I expected. Sort of loose and raucous but also well crafted and interesting tunes. Will listen again. 4 stars.

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Thu Apr 13 2023
4

4.5 nawet za aurora borealis

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Thu Apr 13 2023
4

This album does not put its best foot forward with the first song, but after that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I like the instrumental interludes.

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Fri Apr 21 2023
4

Enpä ole tainnut kuunnella näitä koskaan ennen? Tiesin Nirvanan lainanneen Plateaun, mutta oli siellä ainakin pari muutakin. Kovin poukkoileva levy joka taitaa olla tyylille tavanomaista. Ehkä paras levy tähän asti aivan puskista tulleista bändeistä.

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Sun Apr 23 2023
4

Definitely enjoyed this one a lot more than I'd thought. I was afraid this would just be unlistenable hardcore noise, but it was certainly more varied and interesting then that. There were a few tracks that were a bit hard to listen to, but then some were also worthy of five stars. Rounding the total up from 3.5 And Kurt Cobain really liked this album I guess, which is also something at least.

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Sun Apr 23 2023
4

Genuint så heat hu ha ja int hört talas om detta

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Sun Apr 23 2023
4

The variety on display here is really intriguing, as is the range of quality. How good would this have been with a decent production team behind it? Giving this 4 slabs of meat, mainly because I really want to come back to this. 🥩🥩🥩🥩

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Tue Apr 25 2023
4

I'm a very casual fan of Cheap Trick but this live album really showcases what made them special. Super high energy and equal parts catchy and noisy. So many bops.

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Wed Apr 26 2023
4

Vivid memories of learning that all my favourite Nirvana songs were actually by some weird band called Meat Puppets

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Thu May 11 2023
4

Really good record that everyone should try once. This band honestly has so much and it deserves the praise it gets

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Sat May 13 2023
4

Some songs deserve 3 stars, some deserve 4 stars

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Sat May 13 2023
4

Was slightly dreading when I saw the band name but what a high energy killer first opening song. However then goes a bit country - if it had been all like the first song it would have been a 5. There's enough great music in here to make it a really good album, however the country tinge to it impacts the enjoyability by a lot. 3.5

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Sun May 14 2023
4

Ont-ils influencé Jack White? J’ai pensé à lui à quelques reprises. Eux-mêmes marient de nombreux courants de façon réjouissante. Beaucoup aimé les guitares d’Aurora borealis

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Wed May 24 2023
4

I enjoyed this! I only knew them from the Nirvana unplugged but I enjoyed this album. Little country/bluegrass in there.

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Tue May 30 2023
4

Weird album, incoherent and with doubtful vocal performance, but somehow it works. Good pick by Kurt Cobain for his MTV show.

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Mon Jun 05 2023
4

Surprisingly surprising. Much deeper than I was expecting, and great tunes.

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Mon Jun 12 2023
4

This seems to anticipate and frankly transcend a lot of alt/indie/grunge developments to come after it. Definitely at the top of that game.

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Mon Jun 19 2023
4

Aside from a few duds, this album has quite a bit to offer. It sets itself up as a passable 80s punk album, but a few tracks in, you realize the band has a lot of surprises in store. I really dig the guitar effects scatted throughout that compliment the song structures. Not to mention the killer instrumentals.

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Fri Jun 23 2023
4

Had a bit of a Meat Puppets phase back in the day, but never really come back to them. They’re good! Like a heavier REM B

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Fri Jun 23 2023
4

Great album. I feel like the singing holds it back a little, which is a weird thing for me to say. But the Nirvana takes on unplugged that are more melodic are just definitively better versions. The guitars and instrumentation are fire though. 3.75/5

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Fri Jun 23 2023
4

This was pretty great, wish I had given it some attention when it was contemporary. I remember hearing the Meat Puppets for the first time, as many did, when they appeared on Nirvana Unplugged. Their subsequent album didn't do much for me, but I never went back and listened to their older stuff. I love the mix of country and psychedelic and punk. It's funny they are credited with being an early "cow punk" band as some of their tracks remind me of The Cows.

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Fri Jun 30 2023
4

This album is a strange one to actually sit down and listen to, since, like most people, I became familiar with the Meat Puppets through Nirvana's Unplugged album, which featured three of the songs on this album. It feels weird to hear those songs in their original context. This album is really cool, though. It's funny how many hardcore punk bands were able to really find their niche after abandoning that fairly limited subgenre (see also: Boys, Beastie). This is a really cool early alternative album with a lot of country elements fused into it, with some psychedelic rock mixed in for good measure. The music is really great and feels innovative for 1984. The vocals are...not great, but that also doesn't feel like their goal. Overall, it's a really cool album 4/5

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Sat Jul 08 2023
4

Wait, this came out in 1984? What the hell were they thinking? What the hell were they listening to? This is an absolute mess of a record in the best possible way. Hardcore bluegrass anyone? Tracks seem to alternate from catchy and engaging to annoying and unlistenable and I suspect on my next listen the catchy / annoying alternating will switch around. Bizarre.

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Fri Jul 14 2023
4

Rock ecléctico. Interesante.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Split myself in two

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Thu Jul 20 2023
4

On my first listen I was really enjoying the start, but eventually I started losing interest. It turned out I was accidentally listening to the deluxe edition with half a dozen demo tracks at the end sooo problem solved ✅ But on the flipside, the demo version of Aurora Borealis at the end was one of my favourite tracks 🤷‍♂️ Less flashy than its album counterpart, but just kinda groovy and chill. This was a great discovery! Full of ideas, nice short tracks, lots of energy but also kind of meandering about. Thanks 1001 albums generator ❤️

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Sun Jul 23 2023
4

I'd never even heard of the Meat Puppets before, so this was a pleasant listening experience. Lots to love here, great guitar, interesting lyrics and delivery. I can see how the vocals might put some people off, but they were a good fit as far as I was concerned. Nowhere near perfect and it petered out a bit towards the end a little. Definitely worth 4 stars though.

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Fri Aug 04 2023
4

Some cool noise rock not sure how I feel about the voice but the songwriting more then makes up for it

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Sat Aug 05 2023
4

Curt Kirkwood has annoying vocals but the band just has something. 4 stars because the instrumental tracks are great.

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Tue Aug 08 2023
4

Much better than I expected.

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Wed Aug 09 2023
4

You have to admire the musical diversity of Meat Puppets. Each song has something different to offer, something surprising.

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Sat Aug 19 2023
4

Really enjoyed how ramshackle this is at times but then some of the guitar playing is sublime

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Wed Aug 23 2023
4

Aika vekkuli ja viihdyttävä levy. Rockia, punkkia, grungea ja vähän noiseakin. Ei alkanut kyllästyttämään missään vaiheessa.

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Fri Aug 25 2023
4

A wild ride through nearly every genre out there - sags a bit in the back half, but man is the front loaded with amazing tracks. Manages to dip its fingers into a bunch of musical pies without feeling too scatterbrained but rather just the right amount. One of those out of left field finds that make the whole project worthwhile, would’ve never found this without getting it here.

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Sat Aug 26 2023
4

Rumours swirled when Nirvana said special guests would appear at their acoustic MTV concert. Would this be another “Last Waltz”with rock and roll royalty?Would Scorsese make the film? Confusion and a chorus of “wtf’s” were rampant when the special guests turned out to be The Meat Puppets. The fast pace of the first song reminds me of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died”. Given his high pitched voice I surprised myself by enjoying this. The album them delves into songs influenced by country and other weirdness. It’s reminiscent of the Wilco and perhaps Chilli Peppers. The MPs have enough of the “We don’t care if we’re popular“ attitude that I can see why Nirvana liked them. There’s even a whistling song appropriately called “The Whistling Song” and some fine guitar playing.

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Tue Aug 29 2023
4

Ramshackle yet full of chill gems, the second Meat Puppets album is loaded with the familiar and the waiting-to-be-discovered, ensuring those who become acquainted with this album regardless of its run time (almost 30 minutes in the original release, almost fifty in the repress) that there will be nothing but raw brilliance throughout. No surprise that this was a favorite of Kurt Cobain's. Favorites: Split Myself in Two, Lost, Plateau, Aurora Borealis, We're Here, Oh, Me, Lake of Fire, The Whistling Song, Teenager(s), What to Do, 100% of Nothing.

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