Meat Puppets

Sewn Together

Texas Platters

Meat Puppets

Sewn Together

When Cris Kirkwood rejoined the Meat Puppets for Rise to Your Knees (see "Lake of Fire," July 20, 2007), the album's gritty folk dirge belied big brother Curt Kirkwood's mortal relief. Post-punk's Everly Brothers were back. With Sewn Together, the Kirkwoods and drummer Ted Marcus reanimate a Meat Puppets not seen or heard since the original Tucson, Ariz., trio's SST country-roots-punk coalesced into the classic rock of its early-1990s London Records. Sewn Together could succeed – and evolve – the Western shirt embroidery of 1987's Huevos. The title track alone fashions an undeniable Meat Puppets essential, Curt's crystal picking matching his farmers' market vocal gentility. "Blanket of Weeds" mulches a psych-folk enveloped in the Kirkwoods' inverted bluegrass harmonies, while Curt's mandolin on cantering third track "I'm Not You" jams a piss-take on another reality's Workingman's Dead. Waltzing "Sapphire" gleams another mandolin-kissed bit of Appalachia runoff, with a shadowy delivery straight out of Buck Dharma. One by one, Curt, long a resident Austinite, and Cris wire together in their dark-holler drones and Southwestern sky updraft a monstrous Meat Puppet. Rise to Your Knees' tough love bleeds over onto "Go to Your Head" and "Clone," whose piano becomes William Joseph's spellbinding ivory trade on the succeeding "Smoke." "S.K.A." cracks a parallel portal to 1970s classicism with Curt's vocal conduit to H.P. Lovecraft. His space-vortex solo on "Nursery Rhyme" silver lines more heat-warped Kirkwoodian harmonies. Whistled end jaunt "The Monkey and the Snake" bites like an outtake from Paul Leary-produced platinum peak Too High to Die in 1994. Consider the Meat Puppets' Sewn Together its Young Frankenstein. (The Meat Puppets conclude their current tour June 20 at the Parish.)

****

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