Party Rowdy Rockem'Sockem sounds
Valjean | Salem, Ma United States | 07/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1986 when the rest of the conformist world was oohing and aahing over hair-bands like Posison, Bon Jovi and Whitesnake, hordes of zit-faced so-called non-conformists jumped on the Megadeath/Metallica bandwagon and thought that they had found true alternative hard-rock. Somewhere, lurking in the background was a creative lunatic named Tesco Vee who managed to restructure a Black Flag-esque group called the Meatmen with 4 top-notch musicians. This restructuring gave him a vehicle to present his irreverent poetry with unbridled musical clarity. The sound of the Meatmen, which Vee himself had called part of the "Psychodelic/Death-Rock/Comedy Genre", really had no generic boundaries. Unfortunatly, that sound was fleeting; beginning with 1985's "War of the Superbikes" and culminating with "Rock and Roll Juggernaut" in 1986; which is probably one of the best albums of all time (no joke, up there with Physical Graffiti...don't believe me get the album if you can). In terms of song structure and lyrics, you might have called the Meatmen, circa the "Juggernaut" album, the "Gwar of the 80's". Although with a team of musicans consisting of Lyle Preslar (lead guitar), James Cooper (rythym guitar), Graham McCulloch (bass) and Eric Zelzdor (drums), the sound is much "cleaner" than modern death-metal. The vocals are never muddled and the mix job brings out the the subtleties of each instrument. This is especially apparent when Preslar's crispy lead guitar-work cuts in and out like a knife over McCulloch's funky/robotic bass riff in "Turbo Rock". Preslar's extended solo on the title track "Rock and Roll Juggernaut" is also incredible and remniscent of the late Randy Rhodes in that he jumps from doing blindingly fast harmonic minor arrpagio-type licks to grinding penatonics. Juggernaut begins with a clever title track that is fast and furious and an ode to the band itself and continues to sustain the pace throughout most of the album. There is an aggressive rage in much of the music, but it's not the pretentious teenage-agnst rage that Cobain reaccquainted the musically starved public of the 90's with. Instead, the general musical rage on Juggernaut is akin to being harrassed by an obnoxious drunken pirate named Tesco. While many people criticized Vee for being politically-incorrect in the "Hip to Be Square 80's", his lyrics on Juggernaut are almost compassionate in comparison to many of todays artists such as Snoop Dogg. Vee's lyrics are misogynistic, he likes drugs, cars, weird sex, and endorses violence (arguably) with his tounge-in-cheek. Hey, so, if you think Huey Lewis is "rockin'" stay the hell away from Juggernaut. It's hard to say how much influence the Meatmen had on the Musical world, as I know only about 7 people who have this album. They are all musicans. I wrote to Vee personally in 1996 to obtain this CD and he was cool as hell about it and sold me a copy. I hear that the album is now out of print. As the Meatmen's best venture, I hope it does not fade into obscurity. It's a must for aspiring guitar players."
Music from when 'Alternative' was 'Alternative'
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Rock and Roll Juggernaut" was actually released in the Mid 80's, when "alternative" music was as far away from the Mainstream as today's "alternative" groups pretend to be. The Meatmen produced some of the best non-commercial, post-punk hard grooves on this album, and bring to the table something rare at the time: Original music and lyrics, and songs that lasted more than a couple of minutes. Along with hard rockin' songs, the Meatmen mix in irrevrent, hilarious tunes. Not for the top-forty crowd, but good party music."
The 2nd best! This album rox!
EerieVonEvil | The Rabbit Hole | 08/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Meatmen always change thier sound but this 80's rock lineup pulled it off bad assly. Songs like Turo Rock/Centurions of Rome and of course the title track are so awesome...good heavy rock N roll. Tesco in a fresh(at the time) line up with good songs....get this and gonzo hate vibe....essential cds!"