- Written by brian
Today marks the official release date of Five Legged Dog, the 36 song 2CD/4LP collection of acoustic versions of Melvins classics and along with a few choice covers! This all acoustic album is a true retrospective spanning their entire career and is out now on CD and digitally. The 4LP colored vinyl from Ipecac is currently set for a January 28, 2022 release date.
Five Legged Dog Press Release:
Where to begin with a new Melvins release? August 24, in the year 79 A.D. seems as good a place as any. On this day, citizens of Pompeii emerged squinting from their villas, fell knee-bound and, drawing panicked eyeballs skyward, watched as money shots of glowing lava spewed down upon them, flash frying bodies in suspended animation. Had the Melvins been there on that fateful day they surely would have scoffed, simply cracked free of their lava encasing, belched out a plume of ash and gone on their merry way, refusing to be frozen - or sticking with the metaphor - burned in an instance of time.
It’s not that the Melvins are timeless, nothing so anodyne or sentimental as that. Their latest offering, the acoustic retrospective, Five Legged Dog, finds the Melvins unstuck in time, the musical version of Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim, quantum-vaulting between eras and eardrums. At once going forwards and backwards. Is it mere coincidence the album's epicenter should be a rendering of the Stones’ rocker, “Sway,” with conspicuous keystone lyrics, “ Did you ever wake up to find / A day that broke up your mind / Destroyed your notion of circular time….” There it is, plain as Pompeii.
Move now from 79 A.D. to 1979 A.D., the catastrophic era of disco denim stuffed with schlong, and continue right up to today. Somewhere between those encrusted epochs of banker-rock, a vein of music materialized where ego and orthodoxy were anathema. Of all the lies here told, this is none of them: The Melvins gave birth to that age. Hardcore punk was the semen and heavy metal the swampy bush of this unholy conception. Both an aesthetic and an ethic is what it takes to define an age. And during a near 40-year shelf-life, the Melvins continue to dazzle, confuse and confound. Five Legged Dog is a four album beast, a testament to their unmatched work ethic, their penchant for pushing the envelope, then shredding it to bits. Said Melvins founder, Buzz Osborne, “One acoustic record seems like a joke and two is pretty normal, but doing FOUR?!? That’s like going to war against an army of gorillas on LSD.”
Long before Seattle burned under its own pyrocumulonimbus lightning fires there was Osborne and drummer, Dale Crover, from working-class Montesano and Aberdeen respectively. Multiple (trusted) sources confirm that the two met while rat-holing their way into local opium dens, sidling up to mourning widows and desultory loggers on the nod to relieve them of their pocket change. It was by this method that they amassed enough money to rent their first instruments. But their music initially took a back seat to academia when they were both accepted into the prestigious Bushwood Academy of Technology and engrossed themselves in an emerging field of physics known as T-symmetry, the scientific rule that dictates time runs differently backwards than it does forwards. Imagine an oak tree slowly descending into the ground, or a demolished building heaving upward and settling in full pristine form. Though a career in physics was not meant to be, the principal of T-symmetry had a profound effect on them, and out of this, the Melvins and their musical space-time fuckery, was born. And if this ain’t the truth, pardner, then God’s a penguin. The Melvins rudder has been their love of other bands, always fans of the good shit. They were unabashedly Kids In Satan's Service. But not just KISS... The Who, Throbbing Gristle, Butthole Surfers, Blondie, Flipper and the unfathomable bathysphere of electroacoustic noise... Melvins loved those bands the way you love your oxygen. And after all this time, they breathe that music still. The more mordant their cover renditions have been, the deeper the Melvins' sound has plumbed, until all familiars are hidden, then resolved as newly slabbed granite so massive that to dismantle it into its separate sources is unimaginable. Few artists work so hard at exceeding limits, fewer still follow absurdity past all reason and yet, mile upon mile Melvins strike fertile soil of sound and conceptual fury. And with this album Osborne aimed to make a statement. “This a big one. We knew we had to do something massive to prove we weren’t fucking around.”
According to Crover, “These four albums represent a career retrospective.” Indeed, Five Legged Dog takes a measured sampling of their recorded works, alternating selections from Big Business-era albums, Nude With Boots, The Bride Screamed Murder, (A) Senile Animal, and the tragically under-appreciated Bulls and Bees, and pairing them with ancient pagan favorites Stoner Witch, Honky and Houdini (whose iconic album cover, curiously, depicts a two-headed mutt, no doubt the same rabid bitch that years later spawned this eponymous five-legged dog). Melvins diehards will foam at the 36-song track list which includes “Edgar The Elephant,” “Revolve,” “The Bit,” “Hooch,” “Anaconda,” “Billy Fish,” as well as a no-way-they-can-do-that-acoustically version of “Honey Bucket.”
But know this, the acoustic designation is a misnomer, this is not a lighter, more pensive Melvins by any stretch. No wistful preening. These songs are delta variants, weighty, plangent, cavernous, and often brutal renditions. Not since Townshend, has anyone so successfully transmuted an acoustic guitar into a percussion instrument as does Buzz. On “The Pitfalls in Serving Warrants,” his strumming is precise, immediate and determined. Later Buzz deftly shifts into a roiling version of “Prig,” which would make the perfect complement to an afternoon spent sipping soma in the shade. His guitar strumming often gallops in tandem with Crover, who, for the album’s entirety, decided to scrap traditional wooden drum sticks to compliment the album’s authentic undertones. “I used brush sticks on every track. What a pain in the ass!” But Crover nevertheless manages to blast through tunnels with those brushes. Four-string virtuoso, Steven McDonald, rounds out the trio with his wholly unique bass lines. But it’s McDonald’s ability for vocal harmonizing that contributes to the album’s haunting atmosphere. “We knew the singing was going to sell this thing,” said Crover. However, initially the idea of doing a completely acoustic retrospective was met with McDonald’s raised brow. “But once I got into the concept I was hooked to the eyeballs. I think this came out really great! It’s some of my best bass playing and singing. I got to sing ‘Sway’ by the Stones, and they even wanted to do a cover of ‘Charlie’ by my main band, Redd Kross!”
In addition to ”Charlie” and “Sway,” other covers on the album include a reverential version of Alice Cooper’s “Halo of Flies.” And sticking with flies, Melvins’ staple, “Eye Flys” ends with a slow marching cover of “Woman” by Free. Another highlight, this one tinted with country-western vocal fry, includes past Melvins bassist, Jeff Pinkus wringing undiscovered pathos from the Fred Neil classic “Everybody’s Talkin’.” The song evokes a fleeting taste of The Melvins had they taken up residence in the shit-kicker bars of Bakersfield circa 1952, or rather, if Buck, Wynn, and Hag cut their teeth on punk rock and acid. Buzz agrees, “JD Pinkus does a fantastic job! His kind of insanity fits right in!”
So here we are. A four-album acoustic retrospective that somehow evades nostalgia. Did you expect, something predictable? This is The Melvins, after-all. Keep an eye out for this Five Legged Dog, this frothing mongrel, as it stalks roadside, ready to kill or maim to protect its maggot-covered bone. Unless you’re lookin' to get down and make puppies.
- Written by brian
Today it was announced that the band will be joining Ministry on their Industrial Strength Tour along with Corrosion of Conformity next year. All dates thus far announced are in the U.S. with additional dates to be announced at a future date. The band has also announced that they're playing an exclusive show at the House of Vans in Chicago on October 30th, special RSVP details for this event are at Eventbrite. This show will also be livestreamed on vans.com/channel66!
- Written by brian
Today the band premiered Pitfalls In Serving Warrants from their forthcoming acoustic double album Five Legged Dog. Check out the track below along with more details from the press release:
The Melvins recently announced their most ambitious project yet: Five Legged Dog (Oct. 15, Ipecac Recordings), a 36-song newly recorded, acoustic collection featuring a career-spanning collection of songs, from 1987’s Gluey Porch Treatments to 2017’s A Walk With Love & Death, the entire gamut of the legendary band’s catalogue is represented.
Today the Melvins share the acoustic rendering of "Pitfalls In Serving Warrants", which originally appeared on the band's 1997 album, Honky. About the track Buzz Osborne says: "’Pitfalls’ is one of my favorites. A severely underrated song and one that works very well on acoustic.”
Five Legged Dog also features acoustic versions of several rarities from the influential band’s overflowing discography including a cover of Redd Kross’ “Charlie” (from the limited-edition “Escape From LA” single), “Outside Chance,” a Turtles’ cover from the “Slithering Slaughter” single and new interpretations of The Rolling Stones “Sway,” Brainiac’s “Flypaper,” and Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talking” (popularized by Harry Nilsson). Butthole Surfer Jeff Pinkus lends his vocals (and banjo) to “Don’t Forget to Breathe” and “Everybody’s Talking.”
“I knew I wanted to do something ridiculously big,” explains Buzz Osborne of the band’s first ever acoustic offering. ”36 songs reimagined by us acoustically is certainly ridiculous but it works. The magic of the songs is still there regardless of it being acoustic. Since we weren’t touring we had the time to do something of this size. I’m very excited about this record. Dale and Steven did a fantastic job on this. I think it’s a very special record. I can’t think of anyone else who’s done something like this.”
Dale Crover noted: “I think people will be surprised that we can do an acoustic version of a song like ‘Night Goat’ without losing any of the heaviness. We also worked hard on the vocal arrangements. People are going to freak out!”
The collection, which is available for pre-order now, will be released digitally, as a double-disc CD, both on Oct. 15, with a 4LP colored vinyl release arriving on Jan. 28.
Amphetamine Reptile Records has also announced that the new vinyl of the audio from Melvins TV Volumes 1-3 will be released in batches beginning in September on SHOXOP. There will be art editions as well as factory editions later. As always keep an eye on their Facebook page for timely updates on release dates as these always sell out quick. A very small batch(less than 100) HAZE XXL art edition variants of the recent Ipecac (a) Senile Animal vinyl pressing will also be going up this Sunday, Aug. 22nd. The factory editions of the Melvins Slithering Slaughter EP were released last Sunday and promptly sold out as expected.
- Written by brian
Melvins have just announced the upcoming release of Five Legged Dog via Ipecac Recordings. Five Legged Dog is the bands first ever acoustic record, and it is a double album at that. It will feature over 2 1/2 hours of newly recorded acoustic versions of some of the band's classics along with special cover songs! The album is scheduled for release October 15th digitally and double CD. A 4LP color vinyl release is currently scheduled for January 28, 2022.
Rolling Stone is premiering an amazing acoustic version of Night Goat from the album. “They said it couldn’t be done! Actually, they didn’t say that, but the facts remain. We’ve taken some 30-plus songs that span our entire career and given them the acoustic treatment. There are also some fun cover songs, of course. We’ve covered songs by the Turtles and Brainiac! I think people will be surprised that we can do an acoustic version of a song like ‘Night Goat’ without losing any of the heaviness. We also really worked hard on vocal arrangements. People are going to freak out!” - Dale Crover
Five Legged Dog Tracklist
1. Edgar the Elephant (A Walk With Love & Death)
2. Up the Dumper (The Bootlicker)
3. Hung Bunny/Roman Dog Bird (Lysol)
4. Hooch (Houdini)
5. Billy Fish (Nude With Boots)
6. Shevil (Stoner Witch)
7. Charlie (Redd Kross cover from “Escape From LA” single)
8. A Growing Disgust (Freak Puke)
9. Eye Flys/Woman (Gluey Porch Treatments – “Woman” is a Free cover)
10. Pitfalls in Serving Warrants (Honky)
11. Outside Chance (The Turtles cover from “Slithering Slaughter” single)
12. Evil New War God (The Bride Screamed Murder)
13. The Bloated Pope (Pigs of the Roman Empire)
14. Bad Move (from Dale Crover’s solo album, The Fickle Finger of Fate)
15. With Teeth (Lysol)
16. Halo of Flies (Alice Cooper cover from Sieg Howdy!)
17. Oven (Ozma)
18. Sway (Rolling Stones cover – previously unrecorded by the Melvins)
19. Anaconda (Bullhead)
20. Lovely Butterfly (Honky)
21. Boris (Bullhead)
22. It’s Shoved (Bullhead)
23. Honey Bucket (Houdini)
24. We Are Doomed (The Bulls & The Bees)
25. Flypaper (Brainiac cover – previously unrecorded by the Melvins)
26. Let God Be Your Gardener (Ozma)
27. At the Stake (Stoner Witch)
28. Night Goat (Houdini)
29. Queen (Stoner Witch)
30. Everybody’s Talking (Fred Neil cover – previously unrecorded by the Melvins)
31. Revolve (Stoner Witch)
32. Suicide in Progress (Nude With Boots)
33. Prig (The Bootlicker)
34. The Bit (Stag)
35. Civilized Worm ((A) Senile Animal)
36. Don’t Forget to Breathe (Pinkus Abortion Technician)
The Quietus posted an interesting feature recently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1996 album Stag, check it out!
The band has added a Hostile Ambiet Takeover to their Blixt Merch shop, classic artwork.
- Written by brian
The band has announced Melvins TV Volume 3.5: InDUHpenDUNCE Day - Playing June 25 through July 9. For a measly $10, you get access to all 3 previous episodes of Melvins TV plus a new bonus episode with new content! Toshi Kasai opens! And don't forget to pick up the righteous Hostile Ambient Takeover shirt with your ticket. MELVINS.VEEPS.COM
Amphetamine Reptile Records has also announced a CD release of the Melvins TV Vol. 1-3 episodes. Pick it up over at SHOXOP for only $5! Rumor has it vinyl will also be available later this year from AmRep.
Hilbish Design recently announced a new guitar effects pedal designed with Buzz, the DEATHIMIZER! "Introducing our newest and noisiest collaboration with King Buzzo from The Melvins...The Deathimizer! This is no transparent overdrive, amp like distortion, or smooth fuzz. The Deathimizer is a fuzz with ear drum wrecking highs stacked with an analog two octave down circuit for maximum chaos. Don’t expect H9000 tracking, the Deathimizer unpredictably blips, bloops, groans, and drones its way to give you the most brutal noise making machine possible. With the octave control off you have crusty fuzz tones that sound like rusty nails shooting from your speakers, as you mix in the two octave down signal you can conjure 8-bit leads, synth sounds, and unpredictable drones."
- Written by brian
Today Ipecac announced vinyl reissues of the three Big Business era lineup full lengths. I know fans have been waiting a long time for vinyl reissues of these recent classics! Bride Screamed Murder had previously only been released by AmRep in limited Art edition quantities, and the same was the case for the original 4 single sided (A) Senile Animal release that HydraHead Records put out at the time.
Reminder: Melvins TV Volume 3: MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! starts tomorrow at 3PM eastern and stays up for a week! Over an hour of music, deep philosophy and stupid stunts! melvins.veeps.com
More from the label:
Making our way through the (the) Melvins catalog and bringing back the "Big Business line-up" releases on vinyl for your collections on June 25th!
(A) SENILE ANIMAL - Sea Blue 2LP gatefold set, cut at 45rpm. Plus a limited edition Aqua Blue Splatter
NUDE WITH BOOTS - Apple Red LP. Plus a limited edition Red w/ Black Splatter
THE BRIDE SCREAMED MURDER - Apple Red LP. Plus a limited edition Tri-Color Red/Pink/White
All come with a 12 page booklet with expanded art from Mackie Osborne
Regular vinyl available at stores everywhere, but the limited editions (500 each worldwide) are only in our Blixt & Townsend webstores
Bifocal Media even has a special limited to 100 T-Shirt featuring the original HAZE XXL cover art to memorialize what is sure to become another Melvins classic!
April 1st Melvins announce new all-bass lineup/record.
30 albums deep into a career of bottom-heavy surrealistic sludge, the Melvins are leaning into their lower frequency proclivities with the announcement of their new album “THUD!,” set to drop this weekend as an ultra-limited vinyl edition on Amphetamine Reptile Records with artwork by HAZE XXL.
The full length release bears the first fruit of a newly-minted all-bassist lineup, something that Buzz Osborne says was inevitable: “Over the years Dale and I have played so many ear-splitting live shows, it’s sheared the higher frequencies out of our hearing range. I’ve been writing songs for 5 years now that I can’t even hear. It’s mostly just by feeling the vibrations these days. Writing exclusively for basses gives us a chance to actually listen to what we’ve done”
Dale Crover says that he wanted to retain his percussive identity for the record, and studied slap-bass techniques for weeks on end: “Thank Christ for Flea.”
In addition to the core lineup, the record features recent bass-mongers Steven McDonald, Trevor Dunn and Jeff Pinkus, with a special noise bass solo emailed in from former bassist Kevin Rutmanis.
Osborne says that the biggest challenge was writing songs where listeners could differentiate the parts from each other: “By the time we were ready for Toshi to hit the record button, my strings were so loose that they were literally falling off of my bass if I strummed too hard. This is the most brown-note-laden album ever recorded.”
Artwork by HAZE XXL