Mother's Milk is the fourth Studio Album by purveyors of mind-numbing funk, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It has some stand-out tracks on it, but is marred by several weak songs that give the album a slightly uneven feel. It was the first record to be made with today's current lineup of Chad Smith, John Fruscante (spelling, anyone?), Michael Balzary aka Flea, and Anthony Kiedis. All of the members display obvious competence, yet flea remains the obvious standout with his punk-funk basslines thrashing through most of the tracks with anabashed ferocity. Who would know that he would become so delicate in his playing on later albums?
It is a punchy mix of funk, punk, and straighforward rock that carries listeners on a testosterone fueled journy of sex, drugs, dancing and other assorted exhibitions of debauchery. There are several tracks that excel, and they are varied in their stylings.
The first tobeheard is Subway to Venus, a rauchous anthem full of snazzy horn lines and bust-a-move licks on all instruments. One (imaginary) word describes this gem quite appropriately- FUNKASAURUS. The lyrics are also exceptional, a psychadelic (read: drugged up) tyraid about magic trains and so forth. An excerpt would better explain, perhaps?
"Space is King, or so I say/ Subway to Venus"
"Stone Cold Bush" is the ultimate hybrid of punk and funk. lightning fast and full of attitude, this delightful rollercoaster ride is topped off by a funky-fast-as-hell bass solo courtesy of flea and a wailing punk-metal solo by John. Supoib.
The next standout is an anti-drug ditty by the name of "knock me down". A more rock-orientated piece that features a killer opening riff and strangely responsible message. It's one of the few tracks that see flea take a backseat to allow John, the guitarist, and Anthony to reign supreme. A must-listen, and a fave for chili pepper fans.
Not many consider this to be a great song, but I can't help but be enticed by the sleaze of "Sexy Mexican Maid". It's essentially a porn groove, but WHAT a groove. There's even a nice little saxaphone solo at the end. Should get you feeling superfreaky in no time.
Not to say that these are the only good songs on the album. Other highlights include the ultimate youthtime hijinks anthem, "Goodtime Boys", which has a strange breakdown section in the middle-may freak some people out, but I enjoyed it, "Taste the Pain"...strange, but funky. Listen to it for a bit, you'll know what i mean. "Johny Kick a Hole in the Sky" is a political rant about...politics. I'm not sure exactly what it's about, but the winding guitar and bass offer a fine conclusion to the album.
There are however, some songs that don't impress. Their cover of Hendrix's "fire" left me less than impressed, the overenergised speed exacerbated by sloppy rhythm work and manic vocals. Punk rock classic and Nobody weird like me are mediocre punk songs salvaged by exaggerated solos by John, both of which are insane in their righteousness (thank you, spongebob). "Pretty little ditty" sounds tacked on...like all the parts were played seperately and then mashed together a quarter beat out.
All in all, the album is quite good, even removing the fact that this was really a new band recording for the first time. It was only a hint, however, of what was to come with Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the magnum opus of this fine band.