Tesco Vee was a crotchety old fuck when The Meatman started way back in 1981, and the following 33 years have done nothing to improve his attitude. He's still one of the most foul-mouthed, ill-tempered, bitter bastards to ever have walked the earth. Now, with a rock-solid lineup and more vitriol than ever, The Meatmen have released Savage Sagas (their first all-new material since 1996's War of the Superbikes, Vol. 2) and it's a vulgar punk rock triumph.
The band has seen many incarnations since its inception, but the current lineup is as strong as ever. Guitarist Hindu Kush, bassist Danny Dirtbag, and drummer Swarthy "Bun-Length" Franklin provide an excellent backdrop to the obscene brutality that comes out of Tesco's mouth. Their riffs are crushing, their speed is blistering, and their sound is tight -- a slick, fuel-injected machine, as opposed to the chugging carburetor of yesteryear. That isn't to say they've lost their old charms, though.
Savage Sagas is equal parts immature bathroom graffiti and punk rock love letter. The filthy, hyper-sexual insanity from songs like "The Ballad of Stinky Penis" and "It's Amateur Night At Uncle Bux Bikini Club" is counterbalanced by the affection they express for the genre as a whole. "They Just Don't Make 'em Anymore" is a direct nod to punk rock bands of yore, along with the tongue-in-cheek shoutout to Blag Dahlia, "The Dwarves Are The Second Greatest Band In The World." But it goes farther than that: The surprise in the sketch "Billy's Birthday Surprise" turns out to be a John Brannon doll, and "Speed Kills (But It Sho' Feels Good)" is a completely insensitive ballad to fallen rockers. Even "12" Soft" is an Oi-style nod to British punks.
The non sequitur sketches and acerbic rebukes against celebrities -- including Ann Coulter and Honey Boo Boo -- keep the mood light, but make no mistake: this is a seriously hardcore record full of pummeling hits. "I'm Gonna Fuck You Up" comes as a punk rock highlight, as does the furious "Dinosaur," but they do stoner rock just as well with "Wizards of the Oblivion." The record slows down a bit in the second half, but the band answers every slow moment with hilarity or brutality.
Savage Sagas ends with a sketch that demonstrates literally what Tesco Vee has been saying all along: If you have questions for The Meatmen, you can, as he puts it, "Shut the fuck up."
For more from The Meatmen, check out their Zumic artist page.
Source: Self Destructo Records Bandcamp