Dead Milkmen
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Metaphysical Graffiti , 4/10
Soul Rotation , 5/10
Not Richard But Dick , 4/10
Stoney's Extra Strout , 4/10
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Dead Milkmen, who started their career in Philadelphia in the mid 1980s (with the single Milkmen Stomp), represented a light, silly, sub-Ramones-ic form of punk-rock that many despised as utterly meaningless. Musical skills were minimal, but then so were the skills of hardcore bands at large. Their satirical art was, actually, the last remnant of a decade-old tradition of controversial comedians that ranked the likes of Frank Zappa and the Fugs among its musical purveyors. The problem is that the Dead Milkmen did not offer enough ideas to support their (bad) jokes. They seemed content with offending people through Bitchin Camaro, on Big Lizard In My Back Yard (Fever, 1985), Beach Party Vietnam, on Eat Your Parsley (Fever, 1986), Instant Club Hit, on Bucky Fellini (Fever, 1987), Punk Rock Girl, on Beelzebubba (Fever, 1988), Smokin' Banana Peels, on Metaphysical Graffiti (Enigma, 1990). Listening to an entire album of that nonsense was too much even for their most devoted fans.

Soul Rotation (Hollywood, 1992) left behind the punk-rock postures and focused on the music. While the result is their most mainstream album, the cosmetic make-up helped The Conspiracy Song, Shaft In Greenland and Wonderfully Colored Plastic War Toys sound like leftovers from a They Might Be Giants album. Not Richard But Dick (Hollywood, 1993) offered the sermon I Dream Of Jesus. The band split after Stoney's Extra Strout (Restless, 1995), that includes their epitaph, The Blues Song.

Death Rides A Pale Cow (Restless, 1998) is an excellent career anthology.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Eros Torre)

I Dead Milkmen, che iniziarono la carriera a Philadelphia a metà degli anni 80 (con il singolo Milkmen Stomp), proposero un’innocua e scialba forma di punk-rock (sul modello dei Ramones), bollata da molti come assolutamente insignificante. Come la maggior parte dei gruppi hardcore del periodo, possedevano qualità musicali estremamente ridotte. La loro vena satirica rappresentava, in sostanza, l’estremo residuo di una tradizione decennale di geniali performers del calibro di Frank Zappa e dei Fugs. Il problema è che i Dead Milkmen non possedevano sufficienti idee per supportare i loro scherzi (di cattivo gusto). Sembravano in realtà accontentarsi di shockare il pubblico attraverso gli insulti gratuiti, come in Bitchin Camaro (Big Lizard In My Back Yard, Fever, 1985), in Beach Party Vietnam (Eat Your Parsley, Fever, 1986), in Instant Club Hit (Bucky Fellini, Fever, 1987), in Punk Rock Girl (Beelzebubba, Fever, 1988) e in Smokin’ Banana Peels (Metaphysical Graffiti, Enigma, 1990). L’ascolto di un intero album composto da nonsenses di questo livello era troppo perfino per i più devoti fan del gruppo.

In Soul Rotation (Hollywood, 1992) misero da parte gli atteggiamenti punk per concentrarsi sull’aspetto musicale. Il risultato è il loro album più commerciale, tuttavia il rinnovato approccio rese The Conspiracy Song, Shaft In Greenland e Wonderfully Colored Plastic War Toys simili agli scarti di un album dei They Might Be Giants. Not Richard But Dick (Hollywood, 1993) offrì il sermone I Dream Of Jesus. Il gruppo si sciolse dopo la pubblicazione di Stoney’s Extra Strout (Restless, 1995), che contiene il loro epitaffio, The Blues Song,

Death Rides A Pale Cow (Restless, 1998) è un’eccellente antologia.

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