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Even if they never achieved a great deal of mainstream success, it is truly impossible to comprehend how greatly the Melvins have influenced several different genres across the musical realm. They be have singlehandedly started the sludge and drone metal genres and have proved to be a huge influence on the grunge scene (particularly with Kurt Cobain...). Not to mention I've come to the conclusion that Rob Zombie may have spend a great deal of his career emulating the rough barks of guitarist/vocalist King Buzzo...
While this is often regarded as being one of the band's most accessible and mainstream-oriented albums, it remains true to the band's often quirky style. The songs often go at a slow or mid-tempo pace with a few breaks in speed here and there, the riffs are downtuned and menacing, the vocals do a pretty good job of carrying the nonsensical lyrics, and the drums do get their chance to shine on several occasions. The album also seems to be divided into two different sides; the first half of the record shows the band's heavy, sludgy side while the second half brings in a few more experimental flairs.
Unsurprisingly, the first half is my favorite part of the album and contains many of the release's highlight songs. "Hooch" and "Night Goat" start the album off with strong mid-tempo riffs and memorable vocal lines, "Lizzy" and the cover of KISS's "Going Blind" are my two favorite tracks and showcase the band's melodic side, "Honey Bucket" is a faster track that features a nicely extended introduction, and "Hag Me" is probably the slowest song on the album with its doomy riffs and plodding pace.
As previously stated, the second side is where things really get start getting weird. The sludgy riffs still have some degree of presence and the songs are still pretty good, but the bass and percussion seem to the most dominant instruments and the vocals are often delivered in a strange fashion. "Sky Pup" in particular feature Buzzo sounding a lot like 70's Cooper for some reason. "Set Me Straight" is probably my favorite song on this side and features infectious vocal lines and upbeat guitar chugs to compensate for its awfully short song length.
And like the other reviewers on here, I must question the purpose of putting "Spread Eagle Beagle" on here since it's all pretty much just Kurt Cobain and the band's drummer randomly banging on some drum heads. I suppose it's not really terrible but it doesn't serve for much more than background music. "Pearl Bomb" also has a strange clicking at the beginning that can get annoying but it is made for by the song's sweet bass line.
All in all, this is a pretty interesting album that makes a good introduction to the Melvins' catalogue. I know I'm certainly intrigued...
1) Great guitar and bass riffs, solid drums, and cool vocals
2) Great songwriting
3) Interesting experimental songs
1) May be too weird for some music listeners
2) Why is "Spread Eagle Beagle" on here again?
My Current Favorites:
"Hooch," "Lizzy," "Going Blind," "Hag Me," and "Set Me Straight"