MEAT PUPPETS &Meat Puppets
DESERT PUNKS RETURN WITH "RAT FARM" THEIR 14TH STUDIO ALBUM
For over 30 years, legendary desert punks the Meat Puppets have carved a unique niche for themselves with an unmistakable blend of cosmic country and punk rock filtered through countless acid trips, dog-eared comic books and their eclectic record collections. Along the way they've earned the admiration of a pantheon of critics and rock music peers. The certified classics reach back to Meat Puppets I, II, and Up On The Sun and have been book-ended by recent releases Sewn Together and Lollipop. With brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood reunited in 2009 and the 2012 release of the band's graphic tell-all biography, Too High to Die, the Puppets' iconic status seems assured. But the drive to create goes on and fire still burns; the band's live shows and new material, including their 14th studio release, Rat Farm (April 16 release via Megaforce Records), are as colorful, vital and undiluted as ever.
After a visit to Russia to perform later this month, the Meat Puppets will be touring the States from March 28 through April 13 (scroll down for complete dates). They'll also be making select appearances at SxSW and have confirmed for Primavera Festival in Barcelona in May. The touring band consists of the Kirkwood brothers, singer/guitarist Curt Kirkwood and bassist Cris Kirkwood with drummer Shandon Sahm and new addition on second guitar, Elmo Kirkwood (Curt's son).
Curt Kirkwood says that fans can expect to hear "real blown-up folk music," on Rat Farm. Songs like the title track feature the effortless laid-back harmonies, distinctive guitar work and psychedelic, cosmic country sound that they do better than anyone. The Meat Puppets might evolve but their sound is unique – you'll never mistake them for anyone else, nor anyone else for them, despite their influence. And they make what they do look easy considering that they're deceptively accomplished players.
"I tried to write stuff that would stand on its own — just the chords and the melodies, and play it kind of straight," he says of the Rat Farm material. "I think that was the guiding boundary that I gave myself. It was one of those things where a lot of times, in the past especially, Cris would go, 'Well, that's all there is? Let's put a prog rock part in the middle.' But I tried to hold it off as much as I could."
It's those instincts — knowing when to be understated, the confidence that comes with decades of honing your craft — that keep the Meat Puppets pure and relevant. Their sound will never go out of style because they invented their drug-fueled, sunbaked, country-tinged sound. Accept no substitutes.
Cass McCombs is an American musician who has released seven albums and one EP since 2002.
During the 1990’s, McCombs played in countless bands at various DIY spaces in the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest until he relocated to New York. In 2002, he released his debut, Not The Way EP, on independent Baltimore label Monitor Records. On his first trip to Europe in 2003, he recorded a Peel Session for John Peel, who described McCombs’ music as “unobtrusively brilliant”. In 2003, McCombs released his first album, A, and that year toured with Baltimore’s The Oxes as his backing band. In 2004, he performed at the UK’s All Tomorrow’s Parties and in 2005 released his second album PREfection on Monitor Records in the US and 4AD in Europe. In 2005 he toured with Modest Mouse. In 2007, Dropping the Writ was released on Domino Records and McCombs toured with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Domino Records would release his next four albums: Catacombs (2009), which was voted one of the “50 Top Albums on the Year” by Pitchfork; Wit’s End (2011); Humor Risk (2011), Big Wheel and Others (2013).
In 2012, McCombs toured with John Cale and performed at Occupy Sandy, a benefit for the storm’s victims. CASS McCOMBS