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The Dead Milkmen Biography

Last updated: 03/11/2013 05:20:39 PM

Dead Milkmen, who started their career in Philadelphia in the mid 1980s (with the single Milkmen Stomp), represented a light, silly, sub-Ramones-ic form of punk-rock that many despised as utterly meaningless. Musical skills were minimal, but then so were the skills of hardcore bands at large. Their satirical art was, actually, the last remnant of a decade-old tradition of controversial comedians that ranked the likes of Frank Zappa and the Fugs among its musical purveyors. The problem is that the Dead Milkmen did not offer enough ideas to support their (bad) jokes. They seemed content with offending people through Bitchin Camaro, on Big Lizard In My Back Yard (Fever, 1985), Beach Party Vietnam, on Eat Your Parsley (Fever, 1986), Instant Club Hit, on Bucky Fellini (Fever, 1987), Punk Rock Girl, on Beelzebubba (Fever, 1988), Smokin' Banana Peels, on Metaphysical Graffiti (Enigma, 1990). Listening to an entire album of that nonsense was too much even for their most devoted fans.

Soul Rotation (Hollywood, 1992) left behind the punk-rock postures and focused on the music. While the result is their most mainstream album, the cosmetic make-up helped The Conspiracy Song, Shaft In Greenland and Wonderfully Colored Plastic War Toys sound like leftovers from a They Might Be Giants album. Not Richard But Dick (Hollywood, 1993) offered the sermon I Dream Of Jesus. The band split after Stoney's Extra Strout (Restless, 1995), that includes their epitaph, The Blues Song.