Meat Puppets Sewn Together

After a dozen years apart, singer-songwriter Curt Kirkwood is joined once again by brother Cris for the Meat Puppets' 12th studio album. Sewn Together picks up where 2007's reunion, Rise to Your Knees, left off; "Sewn Together" and "Clone" are figuratively all-choruses — big and brash, the same type of songwriting that made the last album so enjoyable. Curt's guitar playing, although not as charming and dynamic as it used to be, pushes the songs into all sorts of directions, allowing tracks like "Blanket of Weeds" and "Rotten Shame" to clock in at over five minutes without sounding stale. The return of Cris, after years of severe drug abuse, remains more symbolic than purposeful, as Curt's songwriting remains joyful and focused. Sewn Together is far from a masterpiece; it doesn't even rank close to the brilliance of Up on the Sun or II. But with oodles of good musical choices adorning this album, hardcore fans will be more than pleased. (Megaforce)