Stuff You Might’ve Missed – Melvins

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With their mixture of odd lyrics/song subjects, punk/metal sound and penchant for noise/experimentation, Melvins influenced a whole generation of bands. While not the most commercially succesful band, they remain a popular live act and were praised by many, including Kurt Cobain and all the bands that appeared on a Melvins tribute album (Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan and Isis, among others).

The band was formed in the early 80s by Buzz Osbourne, Matt Lukin and Matt Dillard, who all went to school together in Washington. Early on, they played Who and Hendrix covers, but then discovered hardcore/punk and vowed to play heavier and slower than anyone else around.

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Deep Six - 1986

The band’s first official material was featured on a compilation called “Deep Six”, which came out on C/Z Records in 1986. C/Z wanted to document a Washington scene and, aside from Melvins, the other acts that were featured on “Deep Six” included Soundgarden, Skin Yard, Green River, U-Men and many others.

C/Z also released Six Songs EP (which, throughout years. was reissued and expanded – first to 8 songs, then 10 and, finally, 26). Finally, the band also released their debut LP – 1987 “Gluey Porch Treatments” – which was recorded in Sausalito, California and came out on Alchemy Records.

Sputnikmusic website commented that “Gluey Porch Treatments” “stands alone as one of the essential metal albums of the 80’s, even against such heavy-hitters as Metallica and Megadeth.”, while Southern Records review concluded – “While this album perhaps displays less of the oddball humour that the Melvins have become rightly-renowned and loved for, the sheer sonic knockout of their explosive first release is a joy to behold, albeit a brutally violent one (fans of My War-era Black Flag and Black Sabbath will find a lot to enjoy here).”

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Ozma - 1989

1989 “Ozma” became the band’s follow-up to”Gluey Porch Treatment” featured Lori Black, the daughter of Shirley Temple, on bass. Black replaced Matt Lukin who departed to form Mudhoney.

AMG commented on the album – “Whether it’s the creepily calm start of “Let God Be Your Gardener,” plucking rather than bulldozing forward for once, or the grinding do-not-pass-go attack of “Raise a Paw,” Ozma is out for blood and gets it”. with particular highlights including “Candy-O”, a cover of Cars song and “Love Thing”, which closely resembled a melody of Pearl Jam’s 90s hit “Alive”.

Early 90s brought “Bullhead”, “Melvins/ Lysol”, “Houdini”, “Prick” and “Stoner Witch” albums. The band also toured Europe and one of their shows in Germany was released as part of “Your Choice Live” series (via Your Choice Records labels).

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Bullhead - 1991

In their review of “Bullhead”, AMG pointed out that “After three albums filled for the most part with quick song bursts and the occasional longer track, the eight-song long Bullhead found the Melvins stretching out a bit more at points, this time allowing the heavily stoned tempos plenty of time to really sprawl all over the place. There are fewer sudden shifts between fast and slow moments as well, and a lot more pure lava-flow beat-over-head feedback sludge and noise.”

Rock’n’music Review blog described Lysol as being “Strange but interesting” as well as “promising but unfulfilled”, while AMG called it “the pinnacle of the band at that point”. The album included covers of songs by Flipper (“Sacrifice”) and Alice Cooper (“The Ballad Of Dwight Fry”).

“Houdini” was the band’s first major label record (released via Atlantic Records) and its generally seen as one of their most accessible records. The album was co-produced by Kurt Cobain, who also appeared on two songs from the album – “Sky Pup” and “Spread Eagle Beagle”. In 2005, the band played “Houdini” in its entirety as a part of All Tomorrow’s Parties Don’t Look Back series.

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Houdini - 1994

Music Emissions described Houdini as an “essential disc in any alternative collection”, while AMG pointed out that “though Houdini‘s immediate predecessors, Eggnog and Bullhead, pried open a few screwball chasms in the Melvins’ syrupy distillation of Sabbath riffage and Flipper’s noisy anti-punk, it was this album that displayed the full fruition of the outfit’s sonic breadth, from the cough-syrup river drag of “Night Goat” to the revved-up “Honey Bucket,” and from the creepy “Joan of Arc” to the glue-damaged “Sky Pup.”

1994 “Prick” (Amphetamine Reptile) was described by AMG as “a collection of jams, jokes and live oddness.”, while “Stoner Witch” (also from ’94), according to AMG, picked up on the framework of “Houdini” and resolved “into an ear-catching workup of classic rock themes, tempered, of course, with a fairly judicious sampling of acid-trip detours.”

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Stag - 1996

Further on into the 90s, the band produced “Stag” (Atlantic), “Honky” (Amphetamine Reptile) and a trilogy of the albums  for Ipecac Recordings – “The Maggot”, “The Bootlicker” (both from 1999) and 2000 “The Crybaby”.

A new millennium saw the band releasing a whole slew of new records, including 2001 “Electroretard”, 2002 “Hostile Ambient Takeover”, and 2004 “Pigs Of The Roman Empire” (which the band recorded with Lustmord / Brian Williams).

The band latest full-length (as of 2009) is “Nude With Boots”, which AMG described as “the Zeppelin meets Sabbath in a dark alley” with the band sticking to “frank, bludgeoning stoner rock”. PopMatters described the record as an example of how good music can be and “how fortunate we are that this band continues to thrive, sucking on the carcass of banality and spitting out gold.”

Members:

Coady Willis (Big Business, Murder City Devils)

Dale Crover (Altamont, Fantomas Melvins Big Band, Nirvana, Plainfield, Sawed Off)

Jared Warren (Big Business, Karp)

Joe Preston (C Average, Earth, High On Fire, Thrones, Witchypoo)

Buzz Osbourne (King Buzzo) (Fantomas, Fantomas Melvins Big Band, Plainfield, Sawed Off, Venomous Concept)

Lori Black (Clown Alley)

Mark Deutrom (Clown Alley)

Matt Lukin (Mudhoney)

Discography:

8 Songs 12″ / CD (C/Z, 1986)

Gluey Porch Treatments LP / CD (Alchemy, 1986 / Ipecac, 1999)

Melvins 7″ (C/Z, 1986)

Oven 7″ (Leopard Gecko, 1989)

Ozma LP / Cass (Tupelo, 1989 / Boner, 1989)

Ozma / Gluey Porch Treatments CD (Boner, 1989)

Melvins / Steel Pole Bath Tub Split 7″ / 12″ (Tupelo, 1989 / Boner, 1989)

With Yo’ Heart, Not Yo’ Hands 7″ (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 1990)

Your Blessened / Pronoun Piece Me 8″ (Slap A Ham, 1990)

Here’s She Comes Now / Venus In Furs 7″ (Communion Label, 1991)

Your Choice Live Series CD / LP (Your Choice, 1991)

10 Songs CD (C/Z, 1991)

King Buzzo CD / 12″ (Boner + Tupelo, 1991)

Eggnog CD / 10″ (Boner, 1991 / Tupelo, 1991)

Bullhead CD / LP (Boner, 1991 / Tupelo, 1991)

Love Canal / Someday 5″ (Slap A Ham, 1992)

Night Goat / Adolescent Wet Dream CD / 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile Europe, 1992)

Dale Crover CD / 12″ (Boner, 1992)

Joe Preston CD / 12″ (Boner, 1992)

Lysol CD / LP (Boner, 1992)

Hooch / Sky Pup CD / 7″ (Rise, 1993 / Atlantic + Warner Australia, 1993)

Houdini CD / LP (Atlantic, 1993 / Amphetamine Reptile, 1993)

Lizzy CD (Atlantic, 1994)

Prick CD / LP (Amphetamine Reptile, 1994)

Stoner Witch CD / LP (Atlantic, 1994)

Melvins / Plainfield Split 7″ (Smelly, 1995)

Melvins / Guv’ner Split (Porn 2) 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1995)

Interstellar Overdrive 10″ (1996)

Stag CD / LP (Atlantic, 1996)

The Bit CD (Atlantic + Mammoth, 1996)

Ggibby / Theresa Screams 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Honky CD / LP (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Melvins / Brutal Truth Split 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

In The Rain / Spread Eagle 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

It’s Shoved / Forgotten Principles 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Jacksonville / Dallas 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Leeeech / Queen 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Lexicon Devil / Pigtrou 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Nasty Dogs Funky Kings / HDYF 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Poison / Double Troubled 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Specimen / All At Once 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

The Bloat / Fast Forward 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Way Of The World / Theme 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Singles 1-12 2xCD (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Untitled 7″ (Barbaraal, 1997)

Alive At The Fucker Club CD (Amphetamine Reptile, 1998)

Melvins / Cosmic Psychos Split 7″ (Gearhead, 1998)

The Maggot CD (Ipecac, 1999)

The Bootlicker CD (Ipecac, 1999)

The Crybaby CD (Ipecac, 2000)

The Trilogy 3xLP (Ipecac, 2000)

Live At Slim’s 8-Trk (Life Is Abuse, 2000)

Colossus Of Destiny CD (Ipecac, 2001)

Electroretard CD (Man’s Ruin, 2001)

Shit Sandwich 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 2001)

Hostile Ambient Takeover CD (Ipecac, 2002)

Salad Of A Thousand Delights DVD (Music Video Distributors, 2002)

Antivermin 7″ (Ipecac, 2003)

Black Stooges 7″ (Ipecac, 2003)

Brain Center 7″ (Ipecac, 2003)

Dr. Geek 7″ (Ipecac, 2003)

Foaming 7″ (Ipecac, 2003)

Fool 7″ (Ipecac, 2003)

Judas Chang 7″ (Ipecac, 2003)

26 Songs CD (Ipecac, 2003)

Melvinmania: The Best Of The Atlantic Years 1993-1996 CD (Atlantic, 2003)

Revolve 7″ (Suicide Squeeze, 2003)

Neither Here Nor There CD (Ipecac, 2004)

Never Breathe What You Can’t See (With Jello Biafra) CD / LP (Alternative Tentacles, 2004)

Mangled Demos From 1983 CD / 2×10″ (Ipecac, 2005 / Alternative Tentacles, 2005)

Pigs Of The Roman Empire (With Lustmord) CD / 2xLP (Ipecac, 2004 / Alternative Tentacles, 2005)

Sieg Howdy! CD / LP + 7″ (Alternative Tentacles, 2005)

A Senile Animal CD / 4×12″ / 4xLP (Ipecac, 2006)

Houdini Live 2005 CD (Ipecac, 2006)

Pigskin / Starve Already 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 2006)

Melvins / Patton Oswalt Split 7″ (Chunklet Magazine, 2006)

The Making Love Demos CD (Bifocal Media, 2007)

Melvins Vs. Minneapolis 2xCD / 3xCD (Amphetamine Reptile + Burlesque Of North America, 2008)

Nude With Boots CD (Ipecac, 2008)

Star Spangled Banner 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 2008)

The End LP (Enterruption, 2008)

Pick Your Battles CD (Bifocal Media, 2009)

Compilation Tracks:

“Scared” + “Blessing The Operation” + “Grinding Process” + “She Waits” on Deep Six (C/Z, 1986)

“Glow God” + “Big As A Mountain” + “Heavyness Of The Load” on Peace Through Chemistry (Alchemy, 1989)

“Euthanasia” on Dope-Guns-‘N-Fucking In The Streets (Volumes 4-7) (Amphetamine Reptile, 1990)

“God Of Thunder” on Hard To Believe – A Kiss Covers Compilation (C/Z, 1990)

“It’s Shoved” on It’s Your Choice: Unreleased Live Material From Your Choice Live Series (Your Choice, 1991)

“Ever Since My Accident” on Kill Rock Stars (Kill Rock Stars, 1991)

“Chamicamical” on International Pop Underground Compilation (K, 1992)

“Vile” on Mesomorph Enduros (Big Cat UK, 1992)

“Nothing” on Son Of Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! (Slap A Ham, 1992)

“Honey Bucket” on Metal CD Collection 12 (Metal CD Magazine, 1993)

“Hag Me (Live)” on 13 Years Of Losing Money (Gasatanka, 1994)

“Honey Bucket” on Dope, Guns & Destroying Your Video Deck #3 (Amphetamine Reptile + Atavistic Video, 1994)

“Revolve (Demo)” on Spew 6 (Atlantic, 1994)

“Instant Larry” on Demon Knight Soundtrack (Atlantic, 1994)

“Larry” on AmRep Motors 1995 Models (Amphetamine Reptile Europe, 1995)

“Boris Merman” + “Hooch” on Subraum #5 (Subraum Magazine, 1995)

“Sweet Willie Rollbar” on Thora-Zine Buzzo Flexo (Thora-Zine Magazine, 1995)

“Lexicon Devil” on Germs (Tribute) – A Small Circle Of Friends (Grass, 1996)

“I Like Porn” on Screwed Soundtrack (Amphetamine Reptile, 1996)

“In The Freaktose The Bugs Are Dying” on Mind The Gap Vol. 14 (Gonzo Circus Magazine, 1997)

“Your Selfish Ways” on Rock Sound Vol. 11 (Rock Sound Magazine, 1997)

“Buick MacKane” on Great Jewish Music: Marc Bolan (Tzadik, 1998)

“Lone Rose Holding Now” on Index Magazine Summer 99 (Index Magazine, 1999)

“Amazon” on Mind The Gap Vol. 27 (Gonzo Circus, 1999)

“Trackfive” on In Formation: A Tribute To Throbbing Gristle (Attention Deficit Recordings, 2000)

“I Can’t Shake It” on Runnin’ On Fumes – The Gearhead Magazine Singles Compilation (Gearhead, 2000)

“Interstellar Overdrive” on Rage #2 (Rage, 2001)

“Honey Bucket” + “Mobius Hiabatchi” on Dope, Guns & Fucking Up Your Video Deck  – Vol. 1 – 3 1990-1994 (Amphetamine Reptile + Music Video Distributors + Atavistic, 2003)

“Black Back” on Future Vintage (Warner Music UK, 2003)

“Gluey Porch Treatments” on Kurt’s Choice (New Musical Express, 2004)

“The Bloated Pope” on Music With Latitude (Southern, 2004)

Tribute Album:

We Reach: The Music Of Melvins (Fractured Transmitter Recording Company, 2005)


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