The Dead Milkmen - Death Rides a Pale Cow (Cover Artwork)

The Dead Milkmen

Death Rides a Pale Cow (1997)


Talk about not getting your due. The Dead Milkmen, one of the most innovative groups ever to be associated in any way with the punk movement, barely recieve any recognitiong by today's scenesters. Granted, this was not a pure punk band by any stretch. They mixed a lot of styles, but most importantly, they wrote a ton of good music. This "best of" collection manages to hit just about every high point of their career.

This disc has all the important classics. Of course, if any Dead Milkmen song recieves attention, its "Punk Rock Girl". This is perhaps the quintessential punk rock love song. Its cheezy, its got an accordian, and it references Minnie Pearl. What more could one want? Seriously, the genius of this song is that it takes all the stereotypes associated with punks, and doesn't so much deflate them as much as it makes them endearing. Over the course of the song, they (vocalist Rodney Anonymous and his punk rock girl) do many "punk" things, including throwing a fit over being forced to order iced tea and riding in a stolen car. This is the girl that every punk guy wants.

The DM's have many other classics to their credit though. "Bitchin' Camaro" is a great tune, and it helped introduce them to the college radio scene. "If you Love Someone, Set Them on Fire" is a ska reworking of a Sting classic, and is another fave of mine. Other classics on this disc include "Beach Party Vietnam", "The Thing That Only Eats Hippies" and "Instant Club Hit". Even more coolness abounds, as the band included previously unreleased early work, "Milkmen Stomp" and "Labor Day". These two songs aren't very good at all, but they have a reckless punk sound to them,which gives them a certain charm. Think early Meat Puppets.

I highly recommend most anything by this band. They could be snotty and obnoxious, but that was a lot of what made them so likable. They helped to set the stage for acts like Nerf Herder and NOFX, groups who are self-depricating, snotty, and somehow, oddly socially-conscious. This is a great introductory disc to a really cool band, and its one of my faves. Check these guys out.