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Meat Puppets: Sewn Together

Is it time to welcome back ’90s alt-rock yet? If so, it’s a good time for the Meat Puppets to get its second (or is it third?) wind: Sewn Together, another go at the band’s reunion—which came after founding brother Cris Kirkwood overcame drug addiction and a prison stint—is a dramatic improvement from the first (2007’s Rise To Your Knees) and a satisfying recapturing of the past. Though they’re using the same blend of dazed psychedelia and quirky country-rock that defined past their peaks, Meat Puppets sound older, wiser, and considerably less rough. This is probably for the best; no one appreciates past-their-prime punk has-beens faking rawness. The essential elements remain: Curt Kirkwood’s groggy vocals, the oddball guitar work, simple riffs washed in haze and whimsy. Highlights include the rolling drift of the catchy title track, the alt-rock throwback “Blanket Of Weeds,” and the bouncy “Nursery Rhyme.” The band has never been more brightly harmonic than on the album-closer “Love Mountain,” and by the time they get there, it’s clear that they’ve still got some good music to make.


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