Metaphysical Graffiti

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Metaphysical Graffiti
Metaphysical Graffiti.jpg
Studio album by
RecordedFebruary 1989 - January 1990
GenrePunk rock, comedy rock
LabelEnigma Records[1]
ProducerBrian "Bongwizard" Beattie
The Dead Milkmen chronology
Metaphysical Graffiti
Soul Rotation
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune2/4 stars[3]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music2/5 stars[4]
MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide3/5 stars[5]
Ottawa Citizen2/5 stars[6]

Metaphysical Graffiti is the fifth studio album by the Dead Milkmen, released by Enigma Records in 1990.[7][8] The album title and cover art parody the 1975 album Physical Graffiti, by Led Zeppelin.[9][10] Two tracks ("Do the Brown Nose" and "If You Love Somebody, Set Them on Fire") appear on Death Rides a Pale Cow.

The album peaked at No. 164 on the Billboard 200.[11]


Like Bucky Fellini and Beelzebubba, Metaphysical Graffiti was recorded in Austin, Texas, and was produced by Brian Beattie.[12][13] Gibby Haynes, of Butthole Surfers, appears on "Anderson, Walkman, Buttholes and How!"[1]

The video for "Methodist Coloring Book" had to be reedited before MTV would agree to play it, due to imagery the network was worried may be offensive.[14] Enigma printed and mailed coloring books to promote the track.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

People wrote: "When the Milkmen played their first punk parodies in the mid-1980s, they sounded appropriately fresh. Now they sometimes seem to be as dated as the music they ridicule."[16] The Chicago Tribune deemed the album "more screaming, more production and less melody."[3] The Ottawa Citizen called it "funny, loud, fast and violent."[17]

The Los Angeles Times wrote that "parody is in safe hands with the Dead Milkmen."[18] The Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph called Metaphysical Graffiti "a savagely sarcastic collection of commentaries on greed and religion."[19] The Washington Post thought that "Milkmen albums usually turn on the existence of a single standout tune-'Bitchin' Camaro', for example, or 'Punk Rock Girl'-and this outing doesn't seem to have one."[20]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by The Dead Milkmen

  1. "Beige Sunshine" – 3:37
  2. "Do the Brown Nose" – 4:41
  3. "Methodist Coloring Book" – 2:38
  4. "Part 3" – 2:20
  5. "I Tripped Over the Ottoman" – 3:05
  6. "The Big Sleazy" – 4:08
  7. "If You Love Somebody, Set Them on Fire" – 2:01
  8. "Dollar Signs in Her Eyes" – 3:37
  9. "In Praise of Sha Na Na" – 3:25
  10. "Epic Tales of Adventure" – 2:55
  11. "I Hate You, I Love You" – 1:58
  12. "Now Everybody’s Me" – 3:55
  13. "Little Man in My Head" – 3:48
  14. "Anderson, Walkman, Buttholes and How!" – 3:25
  15. "Cousin Earl" - 6:36


  1. ^ a b " :: Dead Milkmen".
  2. ^ Metaphysical Graffiti at AllMusic
  3. ^ a b Herrmann, Brenda (10 May 1990). "Recordings". Chicago Tribune: 17F.
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Volume 2: MUZE. pp. 802–803.CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Visible Ink Press. 1999. p. 319.
  6. ^ Erskine, Evelyn (3 Aug 1990). "The Dead Milkmen Metaphysical Graffiti". Ottawa Citizen: D6.
  7. ^ "Spilled Milkmen". SPIN. SPIN Media LLC. June 29, 1990 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "Dead Milkmen | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  9. ^ Auxier, Randall E. (May 22, 2017). Metaphysical Graffiti: Deep Cuts in the Philosophy of Rock. Open Court Publishing. ISBN 9780812699692 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Fischer, Blair R. "Imitation as the snidest form of flattery".
  11. ^ "The Dead Milkmen". Billboard.
  12. ^ Gettelman, Parry. "DON'T HAVE A COW, MAN, IT'S JUST THE DEAD MILKMEN".
  13. ^ "Fun Fun Fun Fest Interviews: Saturday".
  14. ^ "ICONOCLASTIC MILKMEN PERFORM JULY 2". Deseret News. June 29, 1990.
  15. ^ Popson, Tom (4 May 1990). "Exceedingly awful guitar players wanted". Chicago Tribune: Take 2.
  16. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Metaphysical Graffiti".
  17. ^ Barr, Greg (8 June 1990). "THE DEAD MILKMEN". Ottawa Citizen: C3.
  18. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (17 June 1990). "Pop Eye". Los Angeles Times: 69.
  19. ^ "Dead Milkmen plan to deliver in Englewood". Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph: D1. 29 June 1990.
  20. ^ Jenkins, Mark (3 Aug 1990). "Look at What's In With the Outsiders". The Washington Post: N16.