Dead Milkmen: Big Lizard In My Backyard (1985)

Hard to imagine now, but this was something we used to play the hell out of at the college radio station when it first came out.  Sophomoric smart-assery that felt refreshing in the face of the sometimes relentless seriousness of the hardcore scene, the Dead Milkmen sounded like snot-nosed teenagers channeling early Black Flag and Violent Femmes; it fit in alongside the first Camper Van Beethoven album for its irreverence and lyrical absurdity.

Now, there's a lot here that's on the offensive side and hasn't aged well (and, frankly, rankled even back then) -- i.e. "Takin' Retards to the Zoo"; an ill-conceived AIDS joke in the otherwise amusing "Bitchin' Camaro."  It makes it a bit of a drag to listen to some of this today.  Still, the album can be a lowbrow blast in spots; not something I can claim I listen to often, but also one that injected a healthy dose of gleeful immaturity back when we needed it.

"Camaro," said line aside, is terrific fun, with its conversational intro and frenetic catchiness.  "VFW" (veterans of a fucked-up world) is truly energized young rebellion; "Serrated Edge," an oddball ode to '70s pop culture icon Charles Nelson Riley, is a charming bit of nonsense; "Dean's Dream" is surprisingly tuneful and engaging; "Right Wing Pigeons" is Gang of Four as channeled by irreverent punks; and the title track is more CVB-like effervescent silliness.  Most of this flies by, 1 or 2 minutes per song, requiring minimal commitment of time or intelligence, and sometimes that's all you need.

Would I want to be hearing this for the first time today, as some middle-aged guy?  Probably not.  But transported back to the depths of the Reagan era, yeah, it works.

I'm particularly delighted that a couple random teenage girls made this video for "Bitchin' Camaro":
 Here's an audio rip of "Serrated Edge":
...and an audio rip of "Dean's Dream":