After a meteoric rise to fame in the ’90s that culminated in the hit single “Backwater,” the Meat Puppets (consisting mainly of brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood) parted ways, leaving a noticeable gap in modern rock. The band reunited in 2006, mending fences, apparently realizing that going gold with Too High to Die and being cited as a major influence by the likes of Nirvana and Pavement begged for another try.
On Lollipop, the band includes the talented son of late Texas cow-punk Doug Sahm on drums, and employs a mostly upbeat sound. If the album lacks an immediate heir apparent to “Backwater” here, the brothers have surely expanded and grown musically, presenting cuts reminiscent of Elvis Costello with a sprinkling of their famed desert dust. Highlights include the album opener, “Incomplete,” the rockabilly flavored “Baby Don’t” and “Damn Thing.” The dreamy, wistful “Town” best encapsulates the album with lines like, “Don’t mind my story/It’ll only drag you down/In a one-trick town…” This is a band worth checking back into as there simply isn’t a bad cut among the bunch.
- Tom Hallett