The Meat Purveyors Reviewed
The Meat PurveyorsPain by Numbers (Bloodshot) Breaking up is usually bad for bands. Luckily, the Meat Purveyors aren't like most bands. Calling it a day after Bloodshot let fly two platters of driving rural acoustics sutured with urban darkness, Austin's Meat Purveyors reformed, offering up 2002's gleeful All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail. With TMP's speed-freak strumfests, tear-in-my-40-ouncer ballads, and peculiar covers, some might tag Pain by Numbers as more of the same old shit. If so, this shit is as sweet as Tupelo honey, because the punkgrass outfit pulls it all together here vocals dripping with unfettered abandon, slapping, picking, and fiddling with furlough-from-the-state-hospital urgency, and mando trills as quick-n-smooth as a neat glass of batch bourbon. More importantly, originals like the title track stand tall with covers of Loretta Lynn, Fleetwood Mac, Dusty Springfield, and Johnny Paycheck. "Cold Hard Rain" gallops at a clip that would make Bill Monroe's $1.1 million Gibson mandolin quiver. "I'd Rather Be Your Enemy," a left field cover of troubled experimentalist Boyd Rice, is even faster. Fun, like riding a runaway horse bareback and naked. All tracks are in TMP style, since the band is blissfully ignorant of genre loyalty. Otherwise they'd be to quote opener "TMP Smackdown" as useless "as tits on a bull." Thanks, gals and guys, for breaking up. And congrats on your best album yet.