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Every The Dead Milkmen Album Ranked Worst to Best

The Dead Milkmen are a punk band from Philadelphia and not just what happens when your dad finds the milkman’s underpants hastily hidden behind his golf bag again. Since the early 1980s, the band has delivered satirically biting, jangly-guitared songs that could swing as widely from criticizing American politics to the unintended side effects of gargling bleach, and all with a self-aware, knowing side-eye. Here is our definitive ranking of every Dead Milkmen album.

11. Stoney’s Extra Stout (Pig) (1995)

There are no bad Dead Milkmen albums. Actually I take that back – there is this one and maybe the next one on this list, but I’ll figure that out once I get to it. The point is that “Stoney’s Extra Stout (Pig)” just does not feel like anyone involved in its creation had any investment in its content and certainly didn’t enjoy working on it. But hey, for a band as prolific as Dead Milkmen, it’s probably acceptable to have one stinker on the roster. Now, let’s move on to the next one to see how it holds up.

Play It Again: “Peter Bazooka”
Skip It: “Helicopter Interiors”

10. The King In Yellow (2011)

No, never mind. This one’s bad too. In the band’s defense, it’s gotta be tough to come back 15 years later without your outstanding bass player ( R.I.P Dave Blood) and knock it out of the park on the first swing. So we’re gonna give this one a pass for quality, but all of you should probably give it a pass for listening.

Play It Again: “Cold Hard Ground”
Skip It: “Buried In the Sky”




9. Metaphysical Graffiti (1990)

“Metaphysical Graffiti” is a letdown for sure. After a string of A+ albums the band was bound to fumble at some point, and that point is this one. It follows the same path as many previous efforts but just doesn’t do it very well, sort of like being drunk on a camping trip and trying to find your way back to the tent after throwing up in the communal cooler. That’s the feeling of this whole record – a bad job cooler puke.

Play It Again: “If You Love Somebody, Set Them on Fire”
Skip It: “In Praise of Sha Na Na”


8. Not Richard, But Dick (1993)

“Not Richard, But Dick” feels predominantly uninspired. It’s far from the worst the Dead Milkmen ever gave us but overall feels like the band were never able to make the record stand out in any way. Though the energy of a Dead Milkmen record is present, the normally satirical vision of the band is not. In other words, much like the record’s title it insists you call it by a name though it’s your natural inclination not to.

Play It Again: “Little Volcano”
Skip It: “I Started To Hate You”


7. Pretty Music For Pretty People (2014)

“Pretty Music For Pretty People” (or “PM For the PP” as we’ve just decided to start calling it) is a decent, if mostly forgettable record, so much so that we’re willing to bet that more than a few of you are only just now learning that it exists. But “PM For the PP” still does a fine job of taking the tried and true Dead Milkmen formula for writing satirical lyrics overtop of “what the fuck is this shit?” instrumentation to make for a relatively enjoyable listening experience which you will near-immediately put out of your mind.

Play It Again: “Anthropology Days”
Skip It: “Hipster Beard”

6. Eat Your Paisley (1986)

Okay, so right around this point in the ranking is where we start to get some really great albums that seem to be far too low in the list for how good they are until you step back and consider that this band has just made a lot of really great records and that this in no way takes away from the quality and staying power of the ones ranked slightly lower and that if this record has some sort of special meaning to you then just remember that this is not a personal affront it’s just how we decided to rank them and you know fucking what just go ahead and reorder the next four or five however the fuck you would prefer for all we care cause it doesn’t change a goddamn thing. Anyways, “Eat Your Paisley”: pretty damn good record.

Play It Again: “Beach Party Vietnam”
Skip It: “Earwig”

5. Soul Rotation (1992)

This is one of those records that, the first time you hear it, doesn’t feel like it makes a strong impression. But then you listen to it again… and again… and again… and again, and for some reason you can’t quite figure out why but it just keeps drawing you back in. And one day you just realize it’s your new favorite record and you kind of just have to accept that fact. Maybe it’s because this is a Joe Jack-heavy record or maybe it’s the more traditionally focused songwriting but “Soul Rotation” is a highly underrated Dead Milkmen album.

Play It Again: “Big Scary Place”
Skip It: “The Conspiracy Song”

4. Big Lizard In My Backyard (1985)

“Big Lizard In My Backyard” is an apt title for this record as the metaphor we’d most closely associate with it is that of the “big fish in a small pond.” The album shows great promise in the band’s songwriting capabilities and their drive to hone a unique voice, but so much of the record still lingers in the confines of three-chord punk rock structure. In other words, it’s impressive at a glance but the band doesn’t really hit their stride until that lizard busts the fuck outta that backyard.

Play It Again: “Big Lizard In My Backyard”
Skip It: “Takin’ Retards To the Zoo”

3. Bucky Fellini (1987)

No Dead Milkmen albums are great because they give you exactly what you expect from them. If you want to see how those albums fare we’d recommend scrolling back up to, oh, let’s say 9th place and be reminded of what we said about those. “Bucky Fellini” is certainly not what you would have expected from the band at the time, but that is a major part of why it makes you want to keep listening. With the inclusion of a Daniel Johnston cover and the satirically depressing yet catchy “Watching Scotty Die” this album more than deserves to be in the number 3 spot.

Play It Again: “Going To Graceland”
Skip it: “I Am the Walrus”

2. Quaker City Quiet Pills (2023)

Maybe it’s because it’s fresh in our minds or maybe it’s the fistful of adderall we took after lunch but we absolutely love this record. Not as though we needed proof that the Dead Milkmen could still write a remarkably well crafted, satirically interesting and yet still danceable record in their later years, but all the same we have the artifact now regardless. “Quaker City Quiet Pills” blends some of the best elements of every era of Milkmen with a few new hooks thrown in for good measure.

Play It Again: “How Do You Even Manage To Exist?”
Skip It: “Musical Chairs”

1. Beelzebubba (1988)

It took the band a few years but they finally hit their apex with “Beelzebubba.” The exact right combination between snooty and intellectual, between thrashing punk chords and delicately written songs. Fuck, “Punk Rock Girl” is so good that you willingly bothered to learn things about the city of Philadelphia to enjoy it more. That’s a record with staying power. If you’re a fan of the Dead Milkmen but haven’t listened to them in a while, go back and put this record from front to back. We can pretty much guarantee you won’t skip a second of this album after you’ve started it.

Play It Again: “Punk Rock Girl” But seriously just listen to the whole goddamn thing.
Skip It: Nada