Year 4, Day 3: The Dead Milkmen – Beelzebubba

Year 4, Day 3: The Dead Milkmen – Beelzebubba

Track List

  1. Brat in the Frat
  2. Rc’s Mom
  3. Stuart
  4. I Walk the Thinnest Line
  5. Sri Lanka Sex Hotel
  6. Bad Party
  7. Punk Rock Girl
  8. Bleach Boy
  9. My Many Smells
  10. Smokin’ Banana Peels
  11. The Guitar Song
  12. Born to Love Volcanos
  13. Everybody’s Got Nice Stuff But Me
  14. I Against Osbourne
  15. Howard Beware
  16. Ringo Buys a Rifle
  17. Life is Shit

About the Album

Beelzebubba is the fourth studio album by Philadelphia satirical punk rockers, The Dead Milkmen. The album features lead single and the band’s best known song, Punk Rock Girl, which won heavy rotation on MTV. The album was release in 1988 through Enigma Records.

Thoughts on the Album

It’s weird. I have a soft spot for local artists and bands. The Dead Milkmen are no exception to my soft spot for local artists. Most experts consider today’s album, Beelzebubba by the The Dead Milkmen to be their high-water mark/best album. I love satirical or humorous songs. This album is chock full of snark, satire, sophomoric, cynical, and irreverent humor.

The album when compared to previous releases by the band, is by far their best. Features tight and smooth production as well as solid and great musicianship. The album features snide but funny cultural references of various icons from Bob Crane (Hogan’s Heroes) to James Brown. However the band reserves a special animosity/hate towards those of the hippie generation… and this is evidence by the track Smokin’ Banana Peels.

Of course, it’s not just the hippie generation that the band has animosity towards. Their hatred of all trendoids, morons, poseurs, and others is highlighted in the opening track, Brat in the Frat. The track slams the target characters of drunk semi-adults in college, but also skewers the radical wannabes. There are numerous other amusing skewers, slams, and takedowns throughout the album: Bad Party, Everybody’s Got Nice Stuff But Me, and so on. The lyrics of searingly funny.

But the highlight of the album is the most famous song of the band, Punk Rock Girl. The track is like a reference-dropping who’s who. Most of the places that the band name-drop in Punk Rock Girl are now long defunct… for example: Philly Pizza Company on South Street, Zipperhead. The song is one of jangly and jumpy guitar riffs combined with sharp wit and nerdy angst. The track bashes the boomer generation with the line: “Someone played a Beach Boys song on the jukebox, it was ‘California Dreamin’, so we started screamin’ on such a winter’s day”. Guitarist and singer Joe Genaro KNOWS that the Beach Boys didn’t sing California Dreamin’ (it was the Mamas and the Papas), but it’s a giant middle finger to the older generation.

Conclusion

Over the top, sarcastic, and snarky. That is essential The Dead Milkmen. That’s what this album is. It’s over-the-top. It’s chock full of snide, crude, and snarky pop cultural zingers. Should be required listening for any Philadelphia punk or Philadelphian (in general).

spotify:album:6rOSsanZwjydXb9dY9ACZH

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