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Awesome Sabbath inspired metal - 80%

CrowTRobot, September 4th, 2003

This album was my introduction to the Melvins, and I also feel that it is an accurate portrayal of the band. Its clear to see that Black Sabbath is a dominant influence here, but comparing the band to early 80s outfits like Hüsker Dü wouldn't be stretching it. Buzz Osborne's riffs are deadly and well crafted, yet they don't pummel the listener to an unbearable extent. Drummer Dale Crover exceeds at setting the pace for each song, while Lori Black provides a low-end punch that livens up the band's relatively unique sound.

My only major complaint with this particular album is the overall similarity of each track. Each number is predictable, in the sense that this genre doesn't have much room for innovative measures. Maybe incorporating a few more instruments into the mix would spice things up.

The Melvins have composed at least fifteen albums in as many years, and are still going strong. I hope that Buzz's recent work with Fantômas, and Kevin Rutmanis' work with Tomahawk will spark some new ideas for the band, and possibly open them to a new audience. Whatever happens down the road, "Houdini" will remain a welcome addition to my collection.