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Big Lizard In My Back Yard

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Album Review

It may not be deathless, but 1985's Big Lizard in My Backyard is that rarest of beasts (as a random listen to any Barenaked Ladies disc will show): a collection of rock & roll silliness that outlives one playing. The mid-'80s favorite "Bitchin' Camaro" already demonstrated that ability plenty of times over. Portraying two guys yammering about Doors cover bands and "going down to the shore" before finally getting to the main point — the way-cool car of the title — it somehow finds the lost gap between pseudo-jazz grooves and punky snottiness. As left-field a fluke hit single as it gets, its mix of bad taste, rock star mockery, and stoner humor still works well. As a whole, the album shows that the Milkmen know their rock & roll history, whether tackling serious issues with sarcasm or just aiming for straight-up silliness. The opening track, "Tiny Town," is a quick thrash-and-scream about small minds in small towns, and the blatant idiocy of "Takin' Retards to the Zoo," which is about just what it says it is, finds the Milkmen's tongues planted firmly in their cheeks. The reggae-tinged "Gorilla Girl" is about a choice in sweethearts that meets with parental disapproval, while the tense, nervous bite of "Right Wing Pigeons" trashes the Reagan administration with style and smirks. Semi-seriousness crops up on the wistfully poppy "Dean's Dream," about "a girl with long blonde hair," and the instrumental finale "Tugena," which shows that when they want to, the Milkmen can rock out with the best of them. Never too heavy but deeper than expected, Big Lizard captures these disaffected class clowns getting it out of their system with energy.

Customer Reviews

Cult Classic!

This is one of the best old skate punk albums out there. And too funny that a song like Right Wing Pigeons could still resonate today. Maybe more than ever.

One that started it all for me

This is one of the first albums I remember hearing as a kid that changed my whole outlook on life. I still find phrases from this band making their way into my everyday speech. Oh, and 'Richard, Not Dick' kinda sucked. It was ok, but that's about it.

Seriously Funny Stuff

If it weren't for The Dead Milkmen, I shorely wouldn't be who I am today. Thanks to these silly guys and there tuneage I've been able to laugh at most anything that has happened to me over the years. Heck fire, they even inspired me and a friend to start a band back in the early 90's - The Sassy MoFos (which in I dare say in bit of shameless self promo you can find here on iTunes) I can't count how many times I've sat back with a cold twelver or so and listened to this album. If you've never heard more than Punk Rock Girl, then you should download this immediately, drink or light up and prepare yourself for a good diggity darn good time.

Biography

Formed: 1983 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

During their heyday in the late '80s, the Dead Milkmen led a crop of college-radio jokesters that also included Mojo Nixon, King Missile, and Too Much Joy, among others. Playing a basic, happily amateurish brand of punk-pop, the Milkmen skewered popular culture, indie trend-followers, and the intellectually challenged, while frequently indulging their taste for tastelessness. Critics alternately praised and dismissed the band as geeky, juvenile wiseasses -- virtually every review seemed to contain...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by The Dead Milkmen

Big Lizard In My Back Yard, The Dead Milkmen
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