From 1996 through 1999, little was heard from everyone's favorite Arizona punk band, the Meat Puppets. When word filtered through in the late '90s that singer/guitarist/songwriter Curt Kirkwood was forming a new band called the Neanderthal Orchestra (and the subsequent revelation in the press that Curt's brother and M.P. bassist Cris was in the throes of drug addiction), many assumed that the Meat Puppets were over. But eventually, Curt decided to keep the Meat Puppets moniker, rounding out the new lineup with guitarist Kyle Ellison, bassist Andrew Duplantis, and drummer Shandon Sahm (who takes over for longtime M.P. skins-whacker Derrick Bostrom). While the new band made sporadic live appearances in the late '90s, no new material was issued until 1999's seven-track EP You Love Me. The title track (which was also included on 2000's full-length Golden Lies) shows that the new band is not afraid to sprinkle hard-edged pop with modern technology (a beat box at the beginning), while the country twang of "Vegetable's Opinion" proves that Kirkwood's sense of humor hasn't dulled at all. Also included are such volcanic freakouts as "Monkey Dance," the rocking melodicism of "Been Caught Itchin'," and the fragile closer "Diaper." Six of the seven tracks on the You Love Me EP were not included on Forthcoming, which makes it a worthwhile addition to the collections of Meatheads everywhere.
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