Kelly’s Album of the Week: II

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In 1984, Meat Puppets released their critically acclaimed album entitled II. The only way to describe II is by saying it’s the creative paint splatter of Curt Kirkwood, Cris Kirkwood, and Derrick Bostrom. This three piece used their talents to create music that doesn’t lend itself to one particular genre. II consists of punk rock, psychedelic rock, and country sounds blended together to make the Meat Puppet’s individuality.

The vocals on the album were shared by the brothers, Curt and Cris, but Curt wrote almost all of the lyrics. As far as how the vocals sound, they have a punk attitude that might not be approachable by a new listener. The whines and cracks in notes can be alarming, but they seem to be intentionally alarming.

The hard rock songs like “Lake of Fire” and “Teenager(s)” show the Meat Puppet’s roots in punk with power chords and explosive vocals. Apart from rocking out, there are many psychedelic instrumentals like “Aurora Borealis,” “I’m a Mindless Idiot,” and “100% of Nothing” that have groovy guitar riffs and basslines along with steady drum beats. The slower acoustic songs “Plateau” and “Oh Me” feature interesting lyrics and Hendrix-style guitar solos. In the country-rooted songs, “Climbing,” “Lost,” and “Magic Toy Missing,” Curt’s lyrics chill out and the solos are his own version of chickin’ pickin’.

The album didn’t start getting much acclaim until the Kirkwood brothers were featured on Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged album. Since their collaboration with Nirvana, Meat Puppets are now considered one of the most vital cowpunk bands of all time. While listening to this album, don’t expect any beautiful vocals or perfect composition, but have an open mind to the attitude that Meat Puppets were portraying. II is a musical masterpiece, so be sure to give it a listen.

About the author: As an avid listener of music, guitar player, singer, and band member, I thought it might be fun to give my two cents about music I enjoy. I’m a fan of most genres, but really I just want to hear music with some artistic merit. I hope to get people to listen to music they haven’t heard and see if they like it. Also, feel free to suggest any music for me to listen to.

Kelly’s Album of the Week Archive