Former Meat Puppets leader Curt Kirkwood has spent much of his post-Puppet time in semi-retirement, occasionally venturing out into his adopted home of Austin to thrill small audiences with his impressive guitarwork and charmingly muddled vocals. But after a brief (and pointless) attempt to resurrect the Meat Puppets with Texans filling in for his old Arizona bandmates, Kirkwood enters the solo arena with a characteristically uncelebrated whimper. Snow is an appealing and casual collection of country-folk songs tinged with Kirkwood's playful, hallucinogenic lyrics: "It seems the sweetest things are getting in the fire/Just like snow settles on barbed wire," he sings on the title cut. Still fixated on desert themes and oddball imagery, most of the tracks here are not far removed from the mellower moments of prime Puppets (Up on the Sun, Mirage). Sparsely produced by Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams), Snow is primarily acoustic, although the best numbers feature drummer Josh Day and have Kirkwood heating up the electric fretboard. "Golden Lies" and "Beautiful Weapon" percolate with a country stoner buzz that fans will nod along to with reminiscence.
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