Meat Puppets, the iconic alternative band who are arguably Arizona's greatest-ever musical export, release their 12th studio album, Sewn Together, today. How much do we think of the band? Well, let's just say we didn't name this blog after a Gin Blossoms or Jimmy Eat World album, now did we?
Sewn Together is the second disc since the reunion of founding members, brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood. While 2007's Rise To Your Knees was not without its moments, it was mostly great just to hear the siblings performing together again -- a sentiment echoed by the band's rapturous reception at the 2008 Tempe Music Festival, their first Arizona show in more than a decade.
Now, with the new album, Meat Puppets sound as though they're truly firing on all cylinders again. The sibling harmonies are as tight as only genetics can make them and the songs are loose, expansive and wonderful, hitting all the touchstones -- punk, country and psychedelia -- that make the Puppets' sound so uniquely their own. Singer-guitarist Curt Kirkwood may now reside in Texas, but his band's music is still the aural embodiment of the Arizona desert in all its mind-melting glory.
Of course, it doesn't hurt the Arizona connection to know that Sewn Together was recorded at The Saltmine studios in downtown Mesa and Curt's son, Elmo -- of local band Kirkwood Dellinger -- performs on it.
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Meanwhile, Meat Puppets are slated to play a free in-store performance at Tempe's Zia Records, 105 W. University Drive, at 5pm Saturday May 16.