Melvins
Stag


3.5
great

Review

by Jamie Coughlan USER (11 Reviews)
February 4th, 2011 | 18 replies | 11,557 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If it was a person, it would be committed.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Ok. First things first, “The Stag” is weird. It is a minor miracle that a major, mainstream record label actually released this, but such was the nature of the alternative 90’s when for a few years the majors did not have a clue what was going on and released anything as a result. The weirdness of the album is not in the genres the Melvins employ but in the combination of and variety of styles on the album. The album is literally schizophrenic. The album delves through straight up sludge metal, experimental grunge with trumpets and unusual arrangements to noise collages and dirge-like drone metal to 70’s rock, blues and randomly a pretty pop song. I believe it is reasonable to assume that the Melvins knew their days on a major label were numbered and just decided to indulge themselves and see what they could get away with.

Things start in straightforward territory with the barnstorming “The Bit”. Possibly the most commercial song the Melvins ever recorded, this song chugs along resolutely in ¾ time with an absolute classic of a riff. Possibly designed to lull the listener into a false sense of security this song is truly the calm before the storm. After a short eerie interlude, “Bar-X and The Rocking M” follows “The Bit” and remains somewhat on this side of sane but incorporates trumpets throughout and some scratching. The song does this quite effectively actually, as the trumpets don’t feel out of place at all and fit in quite nicely with the bouncy grunge riff of the song.

Things continue along this experimental grunge style until the alternative pop of “Black Bock”, floats out of the speakers as quite a shocking u turn to what has preceded it. The song is actually one of my favourite Melvins songs and is catchy, odd and eccentric. This song again employs an unusual arrangement and works as a signal that the album is about to go completely off the deep end. “Black Bock” is followed by the 6-minute dirge “Goggles”, which is once again quite a shock to the system because of what preceded it. This song crawls along, menacingly and is quite harrowing and unrelenting. The album follows this dirge template for a number of songs and I admit the album began to drag for me at this point a little bit. With the advent of “Skin Horse”, the record takes another u-turn into a more alternative rock sound before venturing into bizarre 70’s influenced rock on “Captain Pungent” and “Berthas” before ending with a slow blues number called “Cottonmouth”.

Phew. What a journey. Like an audio companion to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this album just twists and turns all over the place with no concern for convention or genre. In this, I imagine the album could be quite polarising. For instance, my girlfriend thinks it is a big pile of stinking ***, and cannot make head or tails of it. However, I think it is a great venture by a band tearing up the rulebook and thinking “*** it, let’s just do it.”



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user ratings (182)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Disconnected
February 4th 2011



485 Comments


Good review.

eternium
February 4th 2011



16304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yay Melvins reviews.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 5th 2011



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I love the Melvins but I've never been a fan of this album.

Tyrael
February 5th 2011



20737 Comments


I haven't heard this yet... Maybe I need to. Good review.

Photon
February 5th 2011



1292 Comments


i love Melvins and also love this album

random
April 1st 2011



2259 Comments


This is for cows!

Skweetis
June 17th 2011



548 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Goggles is insane.

Goatlord
August 1st 2011



405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Stag is just Ok. Some fine tunes, but a lot of filler.

Inveigh
February 27th 2012



24794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Bit rules hard

Inveigh
March 7th 2012



24794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah The Bloat m/

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012



11013 Comments


there exists Melvins without reviews unacceptable

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

Inveigh
April 1st 2012



24794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the more I listen to this the higher it climbs in my Melvins ranking

Funeralopolis
April 1st 2012



11013 Comments


never liked this one much :/

Inveigh
April 1st 2012



24794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's definitely the weirdest Melvins album that I've heard

haven't heard everything they've put out though

MrElmo
August 23rd 2012



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

try out honky, it got them kicked out from their label at the time...

conesmoke
February 2nd 2014



5176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Goggles \ m /

Sniff
February 2nd 2014



1094 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Bit. 5 worthy song right there

VlacDrac
March 9th 2014



835 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Easily their best album from the Atlantic trilogy.



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