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Brutal 1st wave sludge doom...beware!! - 86%

Spawnhorde, March 19th, 2005

Housed within this seemingly "for children" CD are 13 tracks of dripping, malevolent sludge of the most depraved and sick kind. The opening drum crashes of Hooch are enough to crush most things in the general area of your speakers...I can't imagine what it does to people with headphones. Don't pretend this sucks and avoid it just because Kurt Cobain participated directly in one (or more) song(s). That would be ignorant. And also dangerous...because the contents of the rather juvenile cover (and actual with an upclose of the two-headed dog on the front cover) explode upon you right as you push play.

Musically speaking, this is drawn-out, downtuned, "broken" sludge. I use the adjective "broken" for a few reasons. For one, the Melvins rarely use formal lyrics. In fact, the booklet for this CD houses only the exact lyrics for Hooch. And they make no sense. Neither do much of the Melvins' other commonly understood lyrics. This is the cause for the note on this site that says you can read two sets of lyrics per song. Hell, you can make up your own if you like. The Melvins once again demonstrate that lyrics aren't important, and cohesive application of ideals and beliefs through words is need to embrace the layers of feedback and bass to understand their dogma.

For another reason, this CD is really inconsistent. However, this is really the only problem with it, and that's not even much of a problem. The changing up of musical styles (as well as the fucking amazing Kiss cover) allows for a greater sampling of all of the Melvins' styles on only one CD!

The songs develop slowly, for the most part. An exception to this is Honey Bucket, which sounds like thrash with less of a guitar riff attack and more of a downtuned, bass-heavy riff attack, complete with snarling vocals and rapid fire delivery. Copache is also relatively fast and another highlight among highlights.

Each riff is methodically crafted to yield very little melody, but the melody there is is very pleasing and makes you want to listen to the track containing the melody again and again. Night Goat melts into snarling noisy feedback around the four-minute mark, fading out into a quiet oblivion right before going into a quieter beginning in Lizzy, which turns on and off from quiet bass plucking into huge riffing sections with even more useless ramblings.

Did I mention the Kiss cover? It's widely touted as the best Kiss cover ever crafted...and for good fucking reason. Uncompromisingly slow and full of the trademark Kiss guitar sections (slightly melodic but overall less-than-punchy and pretty laid back) with the trademark anguished wail of Buzzo backing everything up.

Get this fucking album, for Christ's sake. And surviving through Spread Eagle Beagle means you're ready to listen to noise. Noise the genre. Contact me for information if you make it through this.