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A Sonic Documentation of Exhibition and Banter

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Album Review

Blue Meanies' studio records have always been adventurous explorations of the typical '90s ska-punk, incorporating everything from Gang of Four-style guitar workouts to jazzy interludes. Though the band never quite broke the mold, they did succeed in expanding it and exposing their audiences to new sounds. Consequently, the band's power as a live band is sometimes forgotten except to those fortunate enough to have caught the act during their lifetime. This is vibrant and menacing ska-punk as few could deliver it; songs like the underground favorite "Smash the Magnavox" are rough but tightly executed, while mid-tempo tunes like "Tread" resonate fully and powerfully. As the band themselves says between a blistering version of "Polka in the Eye" and the Jesus Lizard-esque "Devil Came to the Ninth Ward": "We're not your usual ska-punk, so I hope you didn't come to see it."


Formed: 1989 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Chicago's the Blue Meanies have continued their wacky style of hyper, obnoxious ska-punk that additionally fused with jazz and funk influences since forming in 1989. Debuting in 1991 with "Grandma Shampoo"/"Dickory Dock," this single would be the start of their lengthy discography and revolving lineup. Although their personnel was continually changing, the Meanies' sound would remain as they released the albums Pave the World (1992), Kiss Your Ass Goodbye (1995), Full Throttle (1997), and the live...
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