MUCKY PUP - A Boy In A Man’s World + Now
I don’t know how many people are still around that remember Mucky Pup. I was in my late teens when this American hardcore band was on the zenith of its career, therefore you can imagine my excitement that I Scream Records is now re-releasing their two most essential albums on a single disc. This means eighty minutes of classical material for the price of a regular CD.
Most current hardcore fans were probably not even born when Mucky Pup were in their prime, and might better remember crossover band Dog Eat Dog, co-founded by Mucky Pup members Dave Neabore (bass) and Sean Kilkenny (guitar) and later joined by Dan Nastasi (guitar) that was considerably more successful in the mid-Nineties. Strangely enough the two Milnes brothers Chris (vocals) and John (drums) have been earning their life with a web development company.
That doesn’t change the fact that Mucky Pup were possibly one of the most important bands that gave a humorous edge to the hardcore genre which is generally known for its tough-guy attitude. Mucky Pup first came to wider attention with their second album A Boy In A Man’s World from 1989 with its legendary opener U-Stink-But-I-Love-U. They were always at their best when they unashamedly did their silliest stuff. Other unforgettable classics from that record are Batman, Reagan Knew, Death By Cholesterol, P.T.L. (We Want Your Money) and Little Pigs. Whenever the back then young musicians tried to sound more serious, as on the too long Big Freeze which ended that album, they must realise two decades later that it’s those songs that didn’t stand the test of time.
Now came two years later and although it continues the funny hardcore of its predecessor, it also managed to sound more mature. I don’t know if that was a good thing, and certainly not a positive evolution, but it still worked on this album. Again it was the opener that became a cult hit. Hippies Hate Water was another of their songs that dealt with hygiene problems. Again there was a lot of silliness included (Three Dead Gophers, Baby, A Headbanger's Balls & 120 Minutes) to prove that hardcore could be something different from what other back then popular bands (Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Biohazard,…) were doing.
After these two truly stellar records, things went downhill for the band. They were having too many line-up changes, and trying to hard to grow up. So it’s good to concentrate your attention on A Boy In A Man’s World and Now. They lyrics and consequently the band were best when they were silly. Sometimes they became too dumbed down, which worked just as bad as when they tried to tackle serious subjects. Two decades later, not everything is perfect on these two classic releases that back then were the perfect soundtrack for my fading teenage years, but the nostalgic factor helps to make the listening experience still an amazing experience. I don’t know how younger people who have grown up in a musical landscape of much more metalized hardcore music will react to this silly kind of hardcore, but also they should admit that this came from a time when everything was still in their baby shoes and thus more innocent and open-minded.