Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., April 29, 2011
Meat PuppetsLollipop (Megaforce)
The Meat Puppets' third album since brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood reunited in 2007 concludes with a smattering of studio talk that will likely strike fans as typical of the band: "I don't know, I could probably do it better," offers Curt, breathing heavy. The Meat Puppets embody that sense of nonchalant self-deprecation alongside a propensity for brash, fuck-all attitude. With Shandon Sahm back behind the kit, Lollipop pales somewhat next to 2009's critically acclaimed peak reunion disc Sewn Together, yet it pushes effectively into different directions beyond the sludgy, slurred guitars of their synonymous 1990s style. The classic acid-licked playfulness comes through on "Damn Thing" and toned-down "Amazing," while "Baby Don't" rolls Bakersfield shuffle into cow-licked rockabilly, and closer "The Spider and the Spaceship" provides a bizarrely loping parable that frustrates meaning. Ultimately, the refrain to "slow down" on "Orange" captures where the modern Meat Puppets seem to rest best: casual and contemplative.