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Messages - amazonAMAZON

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Melvins Album Discussion / Re: Colossus of Destiny
« on: March 28, 2015, 02:50:17 PM »
This is still growing on me, but slowly. I remember hearing this in the store... thinking it was supposed to be a new Melvins album, putting on the headphones with the electrical tape all around the mangled cord connection. 

I bought something else that day instead.

I am not a big fan of improv albums. To see a live improv set might be one thing. But recordings of them are not generally enjoyable.

This however seems to be something more. I like to think of it as an hour long intro to Eye Flys. It feels like it is not "rehearsed" but that there is an established language between all the musicians. I think hearing the live version on Sugar Daddy it seems clear that this song's intro is the eternal playspace in the set list. Capturing an extended version on tape and releasing it as its own record is kind of a brilliant idea.

The result can still be aggravating or nauseating or annoying on occasion. Other times I listen or have it on in the background and really dig it.

Melvins Album Discussion / Re: The Crybaby
« on: March 28, 2015, 04:03:05 AM »

Great album, if you don't get it I feel bad for you. It is not going to scratch the Melvin itch too much, but I wonder if people who warmed up to "Sausages" might come back and revisit this. I love the Trilogy in its entirety and i bought this at release and was really into most of it right off the bat.

First three songs are all covers... not just covers... tributes. One of the hardest things for me to get over was Teen Spirit. As a Nirvana fan I thought this was a poor choice for a long time. (You can't improve on that original mix/recording! The melody is simplified and not in a good way. Are they taking the piss out? Or is this sincere? They have access to Kurt legacy no one else does... Why not do a rare tune or a fecal matter tune?) But then I listened to it as Dale's tribute to Dave's drumming and it all makes sense. Dale slays here.

"Ramblin' Man" might be one of the best recordings in the Melvins catalog for me. The vocal tone, the clarity of the instruments, it feels so alive and intimate. It impresses me every time I hear it. It is not very melvinsy - except that it challenges your definition of melvinsy.

"Mine Is No Disgrace" and "Divorced" are the endless listening gems of the record. Thirwell's voice took a bit of getting used to, but the lyrics are perfectly disturbing and the music is outstanding. "Divorced" taps into that 'terrifying' quality of the album Honky and focuses it through a creative arrangement and mix.

"GI Joe" and "Spineless" seem to be the two tracks that live on their own, completely dependent on whether you're a fan of the guest artist or not. In this case I own the skeleton key and patton catalogs so I am pleased, but I can see how someone who dislikes these artists would be displeased. You can hear plenty of Dale on "Spineless" although it's the garbage sounds that own this one's percussion. GI Joe on the other hand is basically a Mike Patton original. I'd love to hear the seven minute Kevin bass vomit with Buzz/Dale noise on top that the Melvins originally gave to patton. Maybe this will surface some day on an amrep linocut single...

And that is the album... If you go by the Trilogy vinyl track listing. Seven songs. So thinking about the four additional songs on the CD as a bonus EP is my preferred approach. Maggot + Yow vs Prick = "Dry Drunk". "Okie" a bonus Hank tribute. "Man With" a ten minute dirge that also taps into some of the Honky type terror, which maybe drags on a little too long but is forgiven.

And finally "Moon Pie" possibly the track that takes the longest time to grow on you. I probably heard this album ten times through before I even really noticed this track was here. Took a long time but I love it. The start/ stop of noises is addictive. The redneck performance is mixed a little distant but that makes it fun once you know to tune into this.

Anyway... I hope this helps anyone struggling to enjoy this album. There's no Buzz vocal through most of it... but I think we are all learning that the melvins is not about who is on the mic. It does play off a bit like a mix tape at first but all in all the sequencing is perfect and the recording is excellent and the songs are all essential to the whole experience.

Melvins Album Discussion / Re: Eggnog
« on: March 22, 2015, 02:15:59 PM »
Anyone notice the similarity between the sound of the word eggnog and the sound of the words "hog leg?"

This seems not inconsequential to me. As if it somehow was at the core of what they were trying to do with the heaviness.

Melvins Album Discussion / Re: Everybody Loves Sausages
« on: March 21, 2015, 02:13:29 PM »
So I just read through all 36 pages of this thread. It seems like the concensus is as follows:

"Station to Station" and "Dream Home," the epics, are at the top of everyone's list, with "Female Trouble" and "Romance" also favorites.

"Art School" and "Timothy Leary" are probably the least liked tracks after many listens, but most people enjoy the entire album as programmed.

"Black Betty" and "Best Friend" are the most polarizing songs.

"Carpe Diem" and "Heathen Earth" are never disliked, but for many they really grow on you.

It's interesting because this is pretty much how I feel about it, too. Though I fall into the camp of loving both Best Friend and Black Betty. I think the Queen cover is the Melvins finding a new avenue to be badass.

Melvins Album Discussion / Re: The Maggot
« on: March 06, 2015, 01:11:05 AM »

This album has the unique distinction for me of requiring zero time to grow on me. I bought it new at the store around the original release, took it home, and it has been a favorite ever since.

I love the split tracks. I think it's one of the best attacks in Buzz's career long campaign to subvert CD track numbering.

To answer a question from four years ago... Open your CD drive, stick in The Maggot, open your CD ripping program (ExactAudioCopy is good in windows) and select to burn the entire CD to CUE format. This will produce two files, one called the maggot.cue which you could delete, and the other which is the maggot.wav which you can play seamlessly in any audio program.

Melvins Album Discussion / Re: STAG
« on: March 05, 2015, 01:00:25 AM »

This album has probably the highest number of songs that remain in the live show of any album.

I think of Stag as "dense" as in "tightly packed with ideas." It has a pretty high learning curve but is also endlessly rewarding.

Much of the album seems to be about flesh, food and obesity. Especially "The Bit" which might be about eating a giant steak or burger. Also "The Bloat" as a song title is great.

Bar-x-the-rocking-m - Is this song title a physical description of its guitar riff? For some reason when I hear this song I laugh. It seems like maybe the a&r rep told them they needed "a hit rock song with power chords and a verse chorus verse structure and like a horn part so we can get on the radio" and Buzz was like "fuck you, here's bar-x, that's what you asked for. Melvins, bitch." For many years when I said the song title in my head it was "Bar TIMES the Rocking Em" as if the X was multiplication.

"Tipping the lion" is now probably my favorite Melvins guitar solo.

If you don't like this album yet you will. Everyone has a number of listens it will take to begin to appreciate it. Once you get close to memorizing the way the pieces fit together you will really fall in love with this record, not just this or that song.

Melvins Album Discussion / Re: Pigs of the Roman Empire
« on: February 27, 2015, 05:22:36 PM »
This lands in my heart somewhere similar to Egg Nog - an essential part of the catalog, loads of great songs that you'd love to hear live. Even though the running time of this one is plenty long, it simply doesn't feel like you're getting a full experience once it's over. It leaves you wishing there were more of it, but not a thing you could imagine changing about it.

Melvins Album Discussion / Re: Hostile Ambient Takeover
« on: February 25, 2015, 11:20:17 AM »
I stand corrected on all counts.

What's the story on "Lizardus" then? I thought he said laserdiscs.

Melvins Album Discussion / Re: Hostile Ambient Takeover
« on: February 23, 2015, 11:24:55 AM »

Can you guys stop writing "HAT"? It sounds stupid. If you can't spell out Hostile Ambient Takeover, could you please just write "Hostile" or "this album" when context supports it? Thanks.

That mini-song presumably about laserdisks really got me this time. I love the Melvins. That sounds like Dale, especially Dale humor. Is that Dale?

I used to think Antivermin Seed was unnecessarily long and there was too much keyboard noodling, but this recent listen I think I just let that heavy black opium molasses seep in the whole way and it was great.

Drumming on this record sounds "sloppy" to me despite others describing it as "tight." I don't mean bad, but just loose. I hear flams that are like two separate hits almost together.

Melvins Discussion / Re: Hold It In
« on: October 24, 2014, 12:47:13 AM »
Album has a great mix of songs that pop immediately, songs a little too big to just get right off the bat, and stuff that makes you scratch your head until you eventually love it. My only gripes after playing it through a dozen times are some minor issues with pace. There's a few too many "got your eyes on you'd and way too much of the vocoder voice on track two that doesn't go anywhere. Also the ending of the last track is awesome but there are a lot of stretches where it sounds like all the players are waiting for everyone else to do something. Tracks 5, 7, and 9 are epic and "Hollow Moon" and "Crankenstein" are the real deal.

I've always been a fan of plenty of bands influenced by the butthole surfers, but not so much of the butthole surfers themselves. I think this album may have finally forced me to take the plunge.

Also... Even though there's six songs here that decidedly sound like the melvins, the album as a whole feels more like something else (similar to pigs of the roman or chicken switch). In the end my desire for a melvins album is not quenched. In fact I am thirstier.

Melvins Discussion / Re: The Next Melvins Collaboration Should Be....
« on: October 19, 2014, 02:14:26 PM »
Can we all beg them for an OZMA record... In the style of Beck's Record Club... Invite over a bunch of friends and do a mix of classic renditions and new interpretations. Get all the ipecac and amrep boys in on it. Book three days in the studio. When they run out two days doing wacky versions of three songs, we'll get Buzz and Dale to power through classics like they play them on stage. End up with half of ozma rerecorded similar to gluttony and lust.

Melvins Album Discussion / Re: Sugar Daddy Live
« on: August 21, 2014, 05:40:05 PM »
I thought I posted this already, but I guess I didn't. I listened to the Sugar Daddy songs vs the studio recordings back to back.

Nude w/ Boots Drum and feedback as intro. Faster. Fiercer. More Buzz vocal.
Dog Island Condensed arrangement.
Dies Iraea No whistling or melodica or whatever that signature lead sound was. More guitar in the mix playing the lead.
Civilized Worm Feel of the intro changed slightly. More Buzz vocal. Second half of the song is more aggressive. Different drum outro/ending.
Kicking Machine All I can say is it feels funkier even though the arrangement sounds the same.
Eye Flys Awesome seven minute intro. Brotastic vocals.
Tipping the Lion Distorted bassline. More aggressive. New drum outro.
Rat Faced Granny Perhaps a bit faster?
The Hawk Drum solo slows down. More Buzz vocal.
You've Never Been Right No significant variation noticed.
A History of Bad Men Totally different outro. Gang vocals.
Boris Slower, longer, dynamic. Gang vocals on the last verse that go almost a cappella.

This exercise was very rewarding and I recommend it to any other fan. Big takeaways are really getting to hear more of Buzz's voice on these songs, faster, more aggressive performances, vocals are belted out instead of whispered, and many of the intro/outro/transitions are very cool. The few old songs are the only ones drastically different from the studio recordings.

Melvins Discussion / Re: Hold It In
« on: August 04, 2014, 05:11:16 PM »
Funny. I read up on the Butthole Surfers on Wikipedia, when they announced last summer that they were touring with Pinkus. There were multiple references to them living in a van, in or near Dallas.

I read up on buttholes and surfing on wikipedia. Very good reading.


Minneapolis is in Norway.

Melvins Discussion / Re: Best produced melvins album.
« on: May 09, 2014, 03:17:45 PM »

Stoner Witch and Stag are among the best produced albums I own (and that's well into the ten thousands).

There was a time that now has passed. A time when a big five record company could throw $100,000 or more at an album from a "developing artist" and send them to the best studios, hook them up with a killer producer, spare no expense on recording equipment and engineers.

"Stoner Witch" is where the Melvins were able to really nail their heavy sound (especially the first four songs). The stars had aligned. They got through their growing pains in recording Houdini. They were with Gggarth's supervision (his other records from around this time were all also great sounding). As noted elsewhere, the engineer Joe Baressi was on board and he was genius. They had enough budget for two assistant engineers. I wouldn't be surprised if these guys end up doing something ridiculous like holding a $20,000 microphone on an isolated boom mic a precise 7" away from Dale's dirty splash. Or maybe they stood out back and smoked cigarettes. Who knows? But Joe and Gggarth were on board. Also remember Mark D was an experienced recording engineer at this time, too, which may have been relevant. SToner WItch has many of my favorite Melvins bass moments.

On Stoner Witch you also have gems like "June Bug" and "Goose Freight Train" where you get clean tones, lots of air, mood. This record is amazing. Everything is on point. You could listen to this album on repeat for a week straight and your ears would never fatigue. You would catch a new nuance on Sunday.

Stag goes even further, taking basically the same team and letting them get a little freakier with the sonics and techniques. There's some demo-ey experimental stuff on there that goes pretty far out and might hinder repeat listenability. But if you look at the core of the Melvins setlist songs on there ("The Bit," "Bar X," "Skin Horse," Captain Pungent," "Tipping the Lion,'" "The Bloat" and a few others) you'll hear that same kind of excellent heaviness that worked on Stoner Witch and is evident here on even more unconventional material.

I don't have the liner notes in front of me, but the mixing and mastering on these records was ace. You only had a couple in-demand mastering gurus at this time (I want to say Howie Weinberg, Grundman, Ludwig, Tom Baker, and a few more) and if they weren't on this record, then whoever did master it was at least competent enough to not screw anything up (which is the real danger of good mastering). I want to say Tom Baker did Stag but I could be wrong.

Honky seemed to have much of the same approach, but probably cut some corners due to budget. The sound is still excellent.

I think (A) Senile Animal is the best sounding record they did after that, although as mentioned elsewhere Pigs of the Roman Empire has the band sounding supreme. We'll leave the soundscapes out of this discussion as it's not really relevant to comparing albums.

I've heard Buzz on numerous occasions defending against blanket attacks on the major label system. There is/was a lot wrong with it, but that system allowed the band to make three amazing albums with mostly their own creative freedom. Buzz has found various outlets to explain what didn't work about the relationship with Atlantic (bad touring demands, music video hassles, marketing budgets and possibly misrepresentation) but I've never heard him express regrets about the recording/mixing/final product of those three records especially Stoner Witch and Stag.

I also want to say that Bulls & Bees sounded great (listening to the CD). Tres Cabrones sounds pretty awesome in most places. Sausages is all over the place (the Melvins Lite songs and the Bowie song are the ones I really dig sonically). Bride Screamed sounds great.

In reference to sample replacement on snare... this is so common among sound engineers you would be amazed. Probably 80% of rock albums in the past two decades have used this. People commonly pull Bonham or Grohl or a few other butt naked snare sounds from exceptional recording sessions. I worked with a producer who had a coveted collection of them. If you got rid of all records that had a sample beefing up the snare, you'd probably lose half your favorite records.

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