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The Dead Milkmen

Beelzebubba

Format: CD   Release Date: 07/10/1991
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Having built up a sizeable cult with surprising mainstream exposure here and there, the Milkmen got as close as they ever would to high-profile success with Beelzebubba. The basic formula and approach of the band hadn't changed a lot, but they did get it all together to create another near-perfect single, "Punk Rock Girl." Sprightly and catchy, it mixes the unexpectedly tender, sweet side of the band with the usual drawling humor from Anonymous -- everything from accordion to utterly random Beach Boys (or is that the Mamas and the Papas?) references crop up. Beyond that splash, it was Milkmen time as usual: over the top, sarcastic, and more. Production was the clearest and most radio-friendly it ever was. The band's eternal hatred for trendoids, poseurs, and morons unsurprisingly continued to flourish from the first song in: "Brat in the Frat" targets the title character in question but spends some time demolishing the radical wannabe as well. Similarly amusing slams and smackdowns crop up throughout: "Bad Party," the snarky "Everybody's Got Nice Stuff But Me," and so forth. As an album through and through, Beelzebubba suffers from the same problem as Eat Your Paisley in many ways -- a load of potentially inspiring ideas that often don't add up in the end. "RC's Mom" is a good example; if the music is meant to parody funk, it doesn't do it as well as, say, Led Zeppelin's "The Crunge," and if it's a celebration, it's pretty obvious and boring. As for the vocals, well, never mind. But so long as songs like "My Many Smells" and "Born to Love Volcanoes" are around, there's still hope yet. ~ Ned Raggett, Rovi

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