Until 2004, it was safe to assume that there would probably never be another Dead Milkmen album after their 1995 swan song Stoney’s Extra Stout (Pig). Then, in 2004, they reformed for several shows at the Trocadero after the tragic suicide of founding bassist Dave Blood. Things were on hold once again, though, until an offer to play the 2008 Fun Fun Fun fest in Austin got them together again. Fast forward to 2011 (now 2012) and you have The King in Yellow, the band’s first new album since 1995 and their first with new bassist Dan Stevens (also guitarist Joe Jack Talcum‘s bandmate in The Low Budgets). Released digitally on the band’s website last March and then later on CD (I only got a copy last month, hence the late review), this is shockingly perhaps their best album since at least 1990’s Metaphysical Graffiti. Gone are the über sarcastic prankster anthems and crude (albeit often times very funny) humor that characterized much of their ’80s material. Instead, this is a grown-up Milkmen album with singer Rodney Anonymous tackling subjects as diverse as NPR and Norah Jones (on “Fauxhemia”, one of the album’s best tracks) and the monopolization of underground culture for corporate ends on “Commodify Your Dissent”. In other words, “Bitchin’ Camaro” (as great as that song still is) this isn’t. And Joe Jack Talcum gets a nice and appropriately weird vocal turn on the quasi-stalker anthem “Some Young Guy”. There’s also a shout-out to Rodney’s friend Melora Creager of Rasputina on the appropriately-titled “Melora Says”. There’s still plenty of humor to be had here as they still don’t take themselves too seriously and Rodney’s voice hasn’t lost anything in its snarly discontented whine, but clearly this is an album made by 40 somethings instead of 20 somethings.