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Melvins | Senile Animal | review | rock | Lollipop


(A) Senile Animal (Ipecac)
by Craig Regala

It's heavy rock, really heavy rock; not metal, even as they absorbed that dynamic/language/attack as tots/post-tots as Black Flag rung their bell and called'm home to dinner. The melodic structure, pacing, hip-sway quotent, and relaxed to groove-powered suckerpunch musicality make these guys the fruition of late '80s altrock which they helped jumpstart, post-classic-SST and pre-grunge takeover (ask Kurdt Cobain). Melvins are my Bob Dylan. There, I said it. May not mean much to many, but the good, the bad, the ugly, the badass, the inventive totality, the culture-shifting parameters of their power/inventiveness/longevity are there within the hard rock world. Lotta cool names on their tribute record, ya'know?

Big Business (the badass drums/bass/vocals juggarnaut) has been integrated into the band for the recording and tour. It works great, kinda like the King Crimson trio for you younger (than 50) people. The rock hits straight-up twisted like Stoner Witch, Stag 'er Houdini, or if some of the early stuff was fleshed out and blown up, but that's what comes with personal growth, right ? The artful attack of Lysol (my favorite Melvins rec. ever, also wherein they make their love of Flipper overt via cover and procedure) is also evident in the eighth cut, "A History of Badmen." Sometimes Buzzo and Jared sing together - hell, all of'm do a bit - lending a nice ascending hook to the proceedings. I'm all for engaging powerful music allied to actual songs. That's rock, y'know ? There's even handclaps! Take the drum overloaded, ker-chugga-chugga of "You've Never Been Right": It's kickass without any letdown, just uplifting musical flow. Program it between Soundgarden's "Outshined," and Metallica's "Hit the Lights" for a nice '80s/'90s/'00s "historia del rocka" lesson.


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