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Jello Biafra | Melvins | Sieg Howdy | review | rock | Lollipop

Jello Biafra with the Melvins

Sieg Howdy! (Alternative Tentacles)
by Craig Regala

Opens with their second stab at an Alice Cooper song. The band sounds great, but Jello's singing, and I don't like his tone at all. On some of his own stuff, it's ok, but fuck, it's some sorta punk warbling Tiny Tim-esque thing, and it ain't fitting the Coop tune, y'know? After that one, Jello's rockin' out like a champ, almost in an early Rollins Band fashion. His singing works better on the second tune, the massively driven "The Lighter Side of Global Terrorism," which does the promo sheet's claim to a Hawkwindian Wipers vibe proud. The Melvins' Buzz Osborne can write a monster overdriver when called forth to do so, and he did. Jello's best lyrics are in "Lessons In What Not to Become," an ode to trying not to fuck over the next generation by bemoaning the drug casualties that coulda-woulda-shoulda been, like, leaders? Or at least made a couple good records. The music's a stomper that woulda been the killer on Dead Kennedys Plastic Surgery Disaster. After that, it devolves into some bitching/bragging about "punk rock" Photoshoped "what is reality" and his outsider status, then it heads back up with another (third?) pretty good take on "California Uber Alles." The fascist takeover has yet to manifest itself, but it's less paranoia than justified fear about our civil rights status.

That's the "new" stuff. The last three cuts are remixes. First up is a remix by Dalek of "Dawn of The Locusts (March of The Locusts Deadverse)" which is good and droney. Shit, you can even sing "shout! Shout! SHOUT at the DEVIL! to it. Always a good sign. I don't know any of the standard mixes for these, so as a consumer service, I have failed you. "Enchanted Thoughtfist (Enchanted Al Remix)" is the kinda thing that signifies to ye olde dance rock '80s: Coulda come after a Sisters of Mercy track and before "White Wedding." "Caped Crusader (Subway Gas/Hello Kitty Mix)" is trudge-tastic! Funny how normative-rockist-duhish some of this is. Like the riff from Kiss' "God of Thunder" or Deep Purple's "Highway Star" hijacked by Rammstein and Jello-ized. I like it.


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