Review Summary: Everything's cool and everything's fine
In a quote that’s been used by everyone and their mother when discussing the Puppets’ latest album, (sidenote- if your mother actually used this quote, let alone discussed Meat Puppets with you, please introduce me) Curt Kirkwood described Rat Farm
as “real blown-out folk music.”
So essentially, the same thing the band’s been churning out since their reunion in 2006. These are twelve ultra-polished, twangy alternative rock jams that have enough five-second oddities thrown in them to make you pause and say “Ah! That’s Curt Kirkwood for you!” before returning to whatever you were doing before that.
If I sound jaded, it’s because Meat Puppets do as well. And that’s just fine. Rat Farm
is the cementation of sorts of the band’s latter-age mellowing out. This is the band’s fourteenth album, after all, and the only real thing about it that can be compared in a positive light to Kirkwood and company’s older work is that it goes down much smoother.
That’s nothing to cry home about. Just because lead single “Down” is twelve parts “Backwater” and, well, zero parts “Lake of Fire” doesn’t mean that should surprise anyone. It’s honestly pretty tough to see who Rat Farm
could offend at this point--the only people who would be in any way surprised at the album’s direction are those not too familiar with the band, and they’ll probably wind up liking it better anyway.
It’s good enough to slip inoffensively into the number fourteen slot in the band’s more than impressive discography and it’ll give you some solid mixtape fodder this summer. Everyone needs solid mixtape fodder and most people need Meat Puppets, so I’ll take it.