Melvins
Electroretard


4.5
superb

Review

by AlienEater USER (9 Reviews)
February 7th, 2006 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


To me, The Melvins Discography resembles three piles of steaming dog excrement, laid upon a bed of unblemished snow. The three steaming, tightly coiled dog excrement are their albums the are sub-standard, or merely average. The albums occupying this location are Houdini, Prick and Colossus Of Destiny. All their other works are the bed of snow: each album is a snowflake, unique and almost perfect in it’s own way. Electroretard decends and becomes part of this bed of snow.

Melvins formed in 1982, and named themselves after a colleague at work that they hated. The original line-up was King Buzzo, Mark Dillard, Matt Lukin. Mark Dillard was soon replaced by Dale Crover and he has been the drummer ever since. Matt Lukin was kicked out, and The Melvins have since had a host of different bassists. At the time of Electroretard’s release, it was Kevin Rutmanis, originally of The Cows.

The Melvins started as a sludge band, but after perfecting this in 1991’s Bullhead, they evolved into about one hundred different genres of music, while still retaining thier original heaviness. On Stoner Witch and Honky, they experimented with ambience. On Stag, they dabbled in Bluegrass, psychedelic pop and chipmunk voices. Electroretard, needless to say, features different kinds of music, and smashes them into one lump of sheer brilliance. They incorporate so many different styles on this album, you would think they were written by totally different artists, but they manage still to preserve a Melvins feel. The styles range from the punk rock slant of The Wipers Youth of America, to the pure psychedelia of Pink Floyds classic Interstellar Overdrive. Electroretard, as the title suggests, features a substantial amount of electroretardedness. It may not sound like your cup of tea, however it is used fantastically and fits in perfectly with the mood of the album. The alternative version of Revolve, from Stoner Witch would be so much worse without the electronic blips and bleeps, as would Tipping the Lion (from Stag). The Melvins have abandoned almost all of their usual heaviness on this album, instead rooting for their self-stylised ‘dirge rock’ and weirdness, that keeps this album feeling fresh and different each time it’s heard. The album’s opener, the only new song on the album, *** Storm, is a prime example of their wierdness. It’s a flood of noise, created by melding previous Melvins tracks, that have been placed upon fast forward and rewind. Lovely Butterflies, from Honkey, is also a showcase for their weird side. It opens with an oppressive drumbeat, until the guitars erupt out of the speakers, and King Buzzo sings incomprehensible nonsense about “the Lovely Butterflies". Gluey Porch Treatments discards all it’s original heaviness, apart from about ten seconds. The rest of the track instead favours a droning sitar riff and weird vocals. Revolve is one of the catchiest songs The Melvins have ever done. The second half, consists of what sounds like a civil war pipe riff, and ***ing brilliant drumming. Tipping The Lion, features the highest electronic aspect of all the songs, and is certainly the weirdest.

The musicianship of this album is momentous. Dale Crover is regarded as one of the best drummers of all time, and some of the tracks on Electroretard reinforce this completely. On the second half of Revolve, the first thing you think to yourself is “sheeeit, that’s some goooood drumming." On Youth Of America, the drum solo is unearthly, I mean, how can Dale hit so many drums in such a short space of time? The guitar playing is almost as good, and King Buzzo can be credited with some of the best riffs of all time, Metallica would eat their own feet to be able to write a riff as good as Gluey Porch Treatments. The solos on Youth Of America are possibly better than the original, and they were ***ing brilliant. The bass, is also worth mentioning, due to one of the catchiest bass lines of all time, on there cover of The Cows’ I’m Missing (here entitled simply Missing). King Buzzo’ vocal style is unique, it’s a growling roar, that at times is terrifying. On Missing, his vocals are more high pitched than normal, but nevertheless just as frightening. On Youth of America, he abandons his normal style almost completely, and instead opts for a more punk voice—it fits perfectly to the track.

Electroretard ,as an album that is made up of reworkings of previous songs and covers, is surprisingly good. It may sound a little pathetic—The mighty Melvins reduced to making an album of covers? Fear not, The Melvins pull it off almost flawlessly. The, reworkings are more “out there" than they were initially, and this album portrays The Melvins creative genius. This is a superb, weird album, from the self-proclaimed ‘greatest band in the world.’



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Comments:Add a Comment 
any14doomsday
February 7th 2006


679 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. The Melvins rule, But dude Houdini Definetly is not in the "Dogshit" Catagory. But this album is pretty good.

AlienEater
February 7th 2006


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

okay, i underated it, i just think that it's their worst albumbecause all the others are so good, and i can't see why so many people think it's thier best. It's probably because of Kurt Cobain's guesting. That's the only reason i can think of

any14doomsday
February 7th 2006


679 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nahh its not there best, its really good though, Id say my favorites are probly Bullhead, or hostile ambient take over. I was supprised by HAT becasue its not really ambient at all, its probobly there most rockin album in a while.

But hey man to each his own.

Zebra
Moderator
February 7th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Decent review, it was detailed but things got a little boring after a while.
I dislike most metal music, but I love the Melvins. This is one of my least favorites by the band, I prefer 'Eggnog' and 'Houdini' over this. 'Interstellar Overdrive' makes me chuckle everytime I hear it.

AlienEater
February 8th 2006


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

eggnog is possibly better, i dislike houdini.
has anybody heard the new altamont cd

Shadowed Reflection
August 2nd 2007


274 Comments


No way man, Houdini rocks.

jagride
February 11th 2010


2354 Comments


the Youth of America cover is the best thing here

and wtf is up with the intro to this review

VlacDrac
June 9th 2013


837 Comments


Houdini is one of their best album, dude.

evilford
December 11th 2013


22806 Comments


"The three steaming, tightly coiled dog excrement are their albums the are sub-standard, or merely average. The albums occupying this location are Houdini,"


HOW DARE YOU

Digging: Burial (NL) - Relinquished Souls

LeeHarveyOsmond
October 12th 2014


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Houdini is neither one of their best or worst albums and I really don't understand why it is considered the former so often (although it could be the Cobain connection). I think it has some of their best songs, for sure (eg. Hooch, Night Goat, Honey Bucket, Hag Me) but the second half of the album just kind of drags it down. There just isn't anything all the special about it compared to most of their albums. I guess that makes it a bit more accessible to some people and they can't get into a lot of their other stuff. But man, even then, is it really THAT great by itself?

Oh, and Electroretard is pretty cool. The covers of Youth of America and Interstellar Overdrive are two of the best tracks they've ever done and I love the re-recorded Lovely Butterflies with Kevin Rutmanis playing slide bass. I don't think of it as a full-on Melvins album since there really isn't anything new on it, but it's a pretty solid release all around.

BMDrummer
October 12th 2014


8652 Comments


houdini fucking rules

InbredJed
October 12th 2014


6074 Comments


bro, Pearl Bomb, Copache, Teet and Joan of Arc are all amaze-balls.

plus Set Me Straight is a cool throwback from when they were like 17. Sky Pup is such a curve ball that it will catch you off guard every time (also a signature and well loved Melvins calling card).

as for the closer, at first listen its just 10 mins of smash noise (arguably a microcosm if the album). With extended returns, one can notice that the patter of the smashings exactly matches the guitar timing in Night Goat (possibly the heaviest track in Melvins history).

Hence, every track rules and simultaneously deserves your attention and to be ignored in favour of pounding your head into the nearest rock wall.

BMDrummer
October 12th 2014


8652 Comments


need to jam this one, along with the rest of their discog

InbredJed
October 12th 2014


6074 Comments


BMD have you jammed Nude With Boots?

BMDrummer
October 12th 2014


8652 Comments


nah not yet, going in order currently

InbredJed
October 12th 2014


6074 Comments


on nice, where you at?



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