* * * MEAT PUPPETS. "Huevos." SST. Without ever straying far from inspirations drawn from the record collection of your average male mall rat, the Meat Puppets' music has an imaginative personality all its own.
Despite the fact that the band's closest sound-alikes are major commercial wonder units like ZZ Top and Led Zeppelin, the Pups get penalized in the mainstream market for being almost too intense--which may be why on their last LP, the pristine, mystical-sounding "Mirage," they backed off from rocking out for a more ordered world view and a beautiful but somewhat cold display of country-influenced pop virtuosity.
"Huevos," their fifth full-length LP and their second release in six months, is much looser, more live-sounding and more hot-and-bothered--in other words, closer to the band's very essence.
"Huevos" recalls 1985's acclaimed "Up on the Sun," with its hallucinogenic imagery, churning, boogie-bottomed rhythms and lazy, hypnotic flat-picked leads. The first track, "Paradise," is as hooky as songs get, as is the pithy little potential hit called "Bad Love" ("Compared to no love," sings Curt Kirkwood, "bad love can't be wrong").