John Alapick | Wilkes-Barre, PA United States | 08/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Monsters was the Meat Puppets' last album for independent record label SST records before going to a major label for their next album Forbidden Places. Up until this point in their career, the band's sound was becoming very diverse, combining country, punk, blues-rock, and psychedelia into their own unique sound. With Monsters, the band went into a heavier direction and while many of the songs here are good, the album overall doesn't have the staying power of their earlier releases Up On The Sun and Meat Puppets II or their breakthough album Too High To Die.
Many of the tracks here such as "Attacked By Monsters", "The Void", and the haphazard instrumental "Flight of the Fire Weasel" all feature wicked riffs and are among the heaviest songs they've ever recorded. But while these songs are decent and feature wild guitar work from Curt Kirkwood, it's the more melodic material that works best here. The tracks "In Love", "Light", and especially "Touchdown King" are all great songs which combine Kirkwood's guitar work with memorable melodies. Other tracks such as "Meltdown" and the dreamy closer "Like Being Alive" are decent as well. The tracks "Strings on Your Heart" and "Party Til the World Obeys" are unmemorable which is surprising considering the consistently strong material that usually comprises their albums. While this album is decent, they've released much better albums than this and only "Touchdown King" is among their best work."
A Strong album
Daniel Vaccaro | Colorado | 11/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The album which most embodies Nirvana's sound, is a really good piece of work. Although they made a bad desicion and put electric drums on the album,(which really gives it its 80's sound) it still manages to work,despite the fact it didn't work for alot of bands. The album is really good when you're hanging out in your basement on a rainy day, or night. Overall it's a pretty "peppy" album, so it won't bring you down; it's happy, and all of its listenable, which is very contrary to their earlier stuff. In my opinion the first album on their way to greatness."
Worth It For "Touchdown King"
J. Bernbach | New York, NY United States | 09/11/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Monsters was probably the low point for the Meat Puppets in their original incarnation (in other words, not counting Golden Lies, which I have never heard). They were probably reacting to the times, which were really a depressing middle ground between the great post-punk explosion of the mid-80's -- which might be the pinnacle of post-60's rock music and of which they were a leading force -- and the emergence of Nirvana a year after this album. As a result this album abandons the sharp kick of their mid-80's releases and resorts to heavy rock with heavy production to match. The songs are all good, but not what you would expect after classics like "Split Myself in Two," "Plateau," and "Swimming Ground." And the pop brilliance that would reemerge on Forbidden Places and Too High to Die is mostly lost in the heavy mix.The highlight is clearly "Touchdown King," which recalls the more melodic and brighter material of Up on the Sun. By stretching out this song with some guitar solos, they really do sound like the Grateful Dead of Punk, which I have heard them called.It's still well worth owning but only after you've gotten their best albums which are, in order, Meat Puppets II, Up on the Sun and Too High to Die along with the mid-level albums Huevos, Mirage and Forbidden Places, which are also superior to this one."
Likable, but still, weird
Kel Brigance | Austin, Texas United States | 10/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After being dissapointed by a Meat Puppets concert, I went and listened to Meat Puppets "Monsters" to make sure that I still enjoyed them. "Monsters" is a mix of psycadellia and punk. The first song "Attacked by Monsters" is by far the best, with a great chorus, and great guitar work. The songs "Light" an "In Love" sound alike, but they are still great. Also is a very Alice In Chains like song "The Void" and the 70's guitar driven instrumental "Flight of the Weasel". Over all, although I think the band new line-up and music is really bad, "Monsters" is still good."