a year after the masterpiece that was Meat Puppets
II, Up on the Sun was definitely a step in
a new direction for the Meat Puppets. The first two
Puppets albums drew heavily from punk, but here, it
sounds like the band is in the middle of a transition.
Any hardcore restaints that held them back from their
full potential before are now completely gone, and the
Puppets are free to move about their natural environment
of hard rock, country and psychedelic influences.
sound here is excellent, eliminating any misgivings
listeners may have had before about the band's musical
talent. The band is a tight musical machine; the drumming
is great, the basslines are absolutely spot-on and devoid
of any sloppiness unlike before, and Curt can actually
sing this time around. His guitar playing has also progressed;
on here it sounds like a blend of country/funk/reggae/jazz/rock.
He has also cut down on solos and started to overdub
about twice per track, adding a whole new texture to
the overall sound. In fact, the second guitar layer
is so important that the recording probably would've
suffered without it.
of the album sounds like the Talking Heads crossed with
the Greatful Dead, and catches the Puppets at possibly
their most creative moments ever. There's so much variety,
from the relaxed "Up on the Sun" to the raging
"Enchanted Porkfist" to the whistled "Maiden's
Milk," that the album can only be grasped through
multiple listens. Just another step in the band's constantly
evolving sound, Up on the Sun is a prime example
of what the band is capable of and considered by many
to be a modern masterpiece. This Rykodisc reissue also
includes 5 bonus demo tracks, so now there's absolutely
no excuse to not own this great album.