Release Date: Jul 17, 2007
Record label: Anodyne
While the Meat Puppets wisely resisted the temptation to call this album "Cris Kirkwood's Back," in many respects the return of the group's troubled bass player signifies an effort by the Pups to reclaim their former glories. Recorded in a simple, straightforward fashion, with guitarist and vision guy Curt Kirkwood in the producer's chair and released by an independent label, Rise to Your Knees harkens back to the Meat Puppets' glory days on SST, though the often chunky guitar tone and rhythmic stability has more in common with Too High to Die and Forbidden Places than the playful, sunburnt joy of Meat Puppets II and Up on the Sun. Rise to Your Knees gives off an amiable, laid-back vibe that's cleaner and more technically accomplished than the classic recordings of the Meat Puppets' first era, but still glimmers with the Kirkwood Brothers love of ballsy psychedelia, and while Curt Kirkwood has given himself more impressive guitar showcases in the past, the noisy assault of "Light the Fire," "Vultures" and "Disappear" will satisfy fans hoping to hear him show off his estimable skills, though his touch doesn't seem to be quite as light or as sure as it once was.