Since the late '90s, onetime Meat Puppet leader Curt Kirkwood has been playing solo acoustic sets. But due to his work with a "new look" Meat Puppets, the all-star Eyes Adrift, and a project that was over almost as quickly as it began (Volcano), Kirkwood didn't have the opportunity to embrace the aforementioned style in the studio. That was, until Kirkwood's first ever solo release in 2005 -- Snow. An interestingly titled album since Kirkwood has called such arid locales as Arizona and Texas his home over the years, Snow focuses (as expected) on Kirkwood's trademark monotone-like vocals and guitar strumming/fingerpicking. It also appears as though the quirky lyrics that became an integral part of the Puppets' style has been largely skipped over this time. With Dwight Yoakam producer Pete Anderson on board once more (he oversaw the Puppets' 1991 release, Forbidden Places), Snow has a slight country flair at times, as on the tracks "Box of Limes" and the standout "Light Bulb." But for the most part, it's "folk" that Kirkwood hones in on -- the album-opening "Golden Lies" and the title track. While it's not the country-punk revelation that Meat Puppets II was, Snow shows that Kirkwood can still pluck and howl with the best of them.
by Greg Prato