Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Dead Milkmen Are The Kings In Yellow

The Dead Milkmen are not dead! Oh no, these guys are quite alive and still filled with vim, vigor, and humor and yet, they're not your parents Dead Milkmen. While they'll always be known for their classics, "Punk Rock Girl," and "Bitchin Camaro," they've matured a bit in the 20+ years since those songs and have slowed things down a bit. Their new album, The King In Yellow, may not be as punky as their older material but clearly these guys still have it in them and they've somehow maintained that wry sense of humour that made them famous.

The King In Yellow is a bit more subdued then other Milkmen release but it's till brash and energetic stuff just not as energetic. What seems to be intriguing, to me, about this release is the fact that the band have mixed in a bit of vitriol with their humor and kind of take a bit of a sarcastic approach to some the songs here. I don't recall them ever being "angry," just quirky so it's interesting to hear a song like, "Caitlin Childs," which almost seems non-Milkmenish. However, for every "serious," song here there's a song like, "Meaningless Upbeat Happy Song," which is exactly as the name says...chipper and fun and it kind of reassures you that they've not lost it in their maturity.

The King In Yellow is a good record that serves as a nice extra chapter in the history of this legendary band. The Dead Milkmen have been around for ever and even though they have gray hair at this point they haven't really lost their ability to tune up the quirk, write catchy three chord punk, and make fun of everything. There will always be a place in my heart for this band and The King In Yellow just cemented that place. Long live the Dead Milkmen and all who sail in them!

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