BY TIM HINELY
I was trying to think of the last time I saw The Meatmen and I think it was late ‘80s at City Gardens (Trenton, NJ). Back then the band was at the height of their punkarena rock, having released two fabulous records (War of the Superbikes and Rock and Roll Juggernaut) and could not be stopped. And they’ve also got their first new record out in at least two decades, Savage Sagas from The Meatmen (Self Destructo Records)) Did you think I was gonna miss this? Hell no.
For the May 23 show at Denver’s Marquis Theatre I missed the opening band (Bottom Bracket…have heard good things….will catch ‘em next time) but did catch the band who played second. Joy Subtraction, a Denver trio and brought some snot- thick guitars chord with some righteous hooks as well. The crowd seemed to like ‘em and hey, who am I to argue with “the crowd.”
The clock struck 10:30 PM, the band walked out (Danny Dirtbag on bass, Swarthy “Bun Length” Franklin on drums (he also played on the latest Negative Approach tour) and Hindu Kush on guitar) and then out in the devil costume, Beelzebub himself, Mr, Tesco Vee to the approving roar of the crowd. They opened with “Dinosaur” (off the new record) and the band was tight n’ crunchy with Tesco spewing pure hate and comedy like it was ’88 also over again. They cranked out some more new ones (“Pissed Hot for Weed,” “Speed Kills (but it sho’ feels good),” “I’m Gonna Fuck You Up”, etc.) but don’t think they left the building without playing some classic oldies, too, Yes, We heard “War of the Superbikes,” “Crippled Children Suck,” “Tooling for Anus,” “Pope on a Rope” (from their 1995 record of the same name) and at least a few more.
The boys took a break as Tesco gave a shout out to the punks we recently lost (RIP) like Dave Brockie (GWAR), Bill Bartell (White Flag), Joe Young (Antiseen) and Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) then to lighten the mood he brought out some of his prized possessions, his Traci Lords pillow case and his Jeffrey Dahmer chef’s apron and something with ‘80s porn star Seka, too (another pillow case?…..damn, one of these day I need to see Tesco’s collection of stuff!).
Back to the music, they changed up the Beatles-inspired classic to “2 Down 2 To Go”, covered Gang Green’s classic “Alcohol” then two more oldies, “We’re the Meatmen and You Suck” and “Come on Over to Mah Crib.” The band gave the crowd a big thank you and left the stage only to be brought back by applause for a few encores. “Evil in a League with Satan” and ending it with “I’m Glad I’m not a Girl” before calling it a night. Tesco announced to the crowd that he’s the ripe, young age of 58, but if you thinks he’s mellowed with age, glad to report that nope, not a bit.