The Meatmen

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We're The Meatmen And You Still Suck - * * * *

You might not like us very much
But we don't care cause we know you suck
We hate a lot of people
We hate a lot of stuff
We're the Meatmen
The fucking Meatmen
You Suck

- The Meatmen Stomp

The name of the Meatmen has become infamous in the history of hardcore music. They have been around since the early 80's in various forms, and continue on to this day. Perhaps in this respect, they could teach a lesson to some of their ultra-serious society band descendents in the hardcore scene. The Meatmen are old-school hardcore in its purest sense. Like the Dead Kennedys and Black Flag they take pride in a satirical antisocial stance, and it has become their main focus as a group. They are possibly the most non-politically correct band to ever grace the hardcore genre. This record is a veteran band having fun and doing what it does best: pissing people off as they've been doing for twenty fucking years. As frontman Tesco Vee puts it, "I'm living proof that 25 years of drug abuse can make you a better person", end quote. They are on a mission to personally offend every living person on this planet. You Still Suck is a damn fine attempt at that goal. The album is supposedly a live recording of the Meatmen from 1988. It's approach is actually more similar to Spinal Tap than it is to their early hardcore roots. They play a cover song by Sweet and pay tribute to Swedish contemporary rock with Abba, God, And Me . The whole album is basically a parody of a big rock metal live album with screaming fans and groupies and big guitars. This is really funny as hell considering the material the Meatmen are playing. Choice song titles include Wine Wenches And Wheels, Lesbian Death Dirge, 1 Down 3 To Go (Their classy tribute to the Beatles), What's This Shit Called Love, and Camel Jockeys Suck (the final installment in the "suck" trilogy). Yeah, the Meatmen manage to piss off just about every cross section of society on this one. The difference however on this album, as compared to their earlier work, is that they actually sound good doing it. While some of their earlier albums may have a certain unrefined hardcore edge, they lack the sound quality and musical competence which is seen here. Early Meatmen recordings are somewhat like listening to an Anal Cunt album, the song titles are funny but the lyrics are unintelligible and the music doesn't make up for it. In their parody of big arena rock, the Meatmen may have actually stumbled across something valuable. Even the early songs like Meatmen Stomp and Tooling for Anus benefit from the big guitar approach. Newer songs like Centurions Of Rome and War Of The Superbikes are actually hardcore/metal hybrids with sing along choruses and guitar solos. The album may have been a joke, but the Meatmen actually sound better here than they ever had previously. The jokes are funnier when you can understand the words, and the songs are better when they are played coherently. You Still Suck proves the Meatmen to be more than just a joke band. While keeping true to their original purpose, they managed to improve their sound greatly and put out a really good fucking album. This one is a classic.

* * * *

Reviewed: November, 1997

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