December 23, 2016

Meat Puppets - Meat Puppets II (1984)


1984 was a huge year for SST. Black Flag--the label's flagship band--ended some legal rights battle and released about 5 albums that year, Husker Du would present their legendary post-hardcore concept album, Minutemen gained some traction, and the label began to experience a more diverse income of artists. But far and away the most exciting record from the year was Meat Puppets' sophomore effort. This album is a wild ride of post-hardcore, country basslines, and psychedlia. There wasn't anybody else on the label that sounded quite like Meat Puppets, but even so I think this album does a good job of summing up what the general SST aesthetic was about. The trio displays skilled musicianship and puts it through a slacker filter to achieve the ultimate recording personality. The music is earthy and dreamlike; I've never been to the western United States (these guys are from Arizona), but when I listen I'm mentally transported to my abstract take of a sunset over the desert rock structures. Meat Puppets II is a friendly album that can make me happy, but also forces me to accept the lonely feelings that I associate with happiness. This will forever be one of the best albums I've ever heard and, other than You're Living All Over Me, my favorite from the SST catalog.