DEAD MILKMEN: The King in Yellow: CD-R

May 13, 2011

Never in my life did I think I’d be getting the chance to review a new Dead Milkmen record. Part of me was glad that I would never have to. I have been a diehard Milkmen fan ever since that day circa 1987 when that cool older kid told me that if I liked Sex Pistols, I should really check out Dead Milkmen and Bad Brains. I promptly bought Big Lizard in My Backyard and I Against I. Both tapes worked in different ways to send me on my way to the present. Dead Milkmen were a jokey band, not at joke band. (I’m looking at you Steven Blush!) The songs presented weird slices of life that you know damn well were happening out there somewhere. Always funny, but in an often sad or scary way. I loved it. Fast forward a couple of decades and some hit and miss records. Never quite as solid as the early days, but always containing some gems. They became an institution of the underground. When bassist Dave Blood died, I was fairly sure that we had heard the last of Dead Milkmen... But I was wrong. The King in Yellow begins with the titular instrumental song. It would fit in on Bucky Fellini, for sure. Right away it’s apparent that these Milkmen are older, but still able to mine the humor out of these weird times we live. If possible, they might even be more cynical and biting that ever. Musically they sound like they always did: surfy, funky jangle with either Rodney barking over it, or Joe floating softly on top. As an album, it’s the most overall cohesive work since Beelzebubba. I think Dave Blood would be stoked at the outcome. I have to see them play again!

 –ty (Dead Milkmen,