When The Dead Milkmen reunited for good more than a decade ago, they could have chosen the option so many bands go with and become sort of a nostalgia act. Nobody would have faulted them for it. Those old songs, the ones people really go wild for, they’re inarguably perfect. So bloviate all day about the nature of nostalgia and authenticity, but it pays the bills.
But this is the Milkmen we’re talking about here! They weren’t some one-hit-wonders trying to recapture past glories. They never had the glory! Sure “Punk Rock Girl” landed then on MTV but watch those videos of them on “Downtown Julie Brown” and you’ll see a bunch of mischievous dorks who know that their dance cards might get punched soon and are going to make the most out of this moment. Which is to say: while they had a few years of pretty constant touring, they eventually came back to their day jobs.
This is a band that has always been moving forward, always trying to find new ways to express themselves. This was especially true when they first started and it was 1982 and only one of the members, drummer Dean Clean, had played in bands before. But it’s still true almost forty years later when you hear songs like “The Brutalist Beat” off of the most recent release, 2017’s Welcome to the End of the World, that owe just as much to new wave and industrial as they do punk rock. Continue reading →