Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Meat Purveyors

  • Sweet in the Pants [Bloodshot, 1997] **
  • More Songs About Buildings and Cows [Bloodshot, 1999] ***
  • All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail [Bloodshot, 2002] A-
  • Pain by Numbers [Bloodshot, 2004] **
  • Someday Soon Things Will Be Much Worse! [Bloodshot, 2006] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Sweet in the Pants [Bloodshot, 1997]
the country songbook can't convey their desperation and rage, high mountain "Burnin' Love" notwithsstanding ("Dempsey Nash," "Go Out Smokin'") **

More Songs About Buildings and Cows [Bloodshot, 1999]
Bluegrass with attitude--radical, maybe even lesbian attitude ("More Man," "Travel and Toil"). ***

All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail [Bloodshot, 2002]
One secret of their bluegrass stylings is that they're not virtuosos. Another is that they cover not only Ronee Blakley and Nick Lowe but Abba and Ratt and that their own songs measure up. Frontwoman Jo Walston sounds fragile, dissolute, determined, and mean in unpredictable combinations. She's never more winning than when warning a "little sister" who may or may not be her kin against guys who leave bruises on your arm, and come to think of it men in general are piss-poor, and didn't you like it better living with me anyway? A-

Pain by Numbers [Bloodshot, 2004]
The dark side of bluegrass revivalism ("TMP Smackdown," "How Can I Be So Thirsty Today?"). **

Someday Soon Things Will Be Much Worse! [Bloodshot, 2006]
Members of bluegrass band by default "need some help to make sense of it all," including 666 packs and Foreigner covers ("Hot Blooded," "Look on Your Face"). *