Melvins
Ozma


2.5
average

Review

by ValiumMan USER (17 Reviews)
September 30th, 2006 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All in all, Ozma is a solid early Melvins record, but it lacks quite a bit of the originality, oddness and, yes, heaviness that made its predecessor, Gluey Porch Treatments so great.

Aberdeen's Melvins, consisting of eccentric guitarist/singer Buzz "King Buzzo" Osborne, genius drummer Dale Crover and whoever's currently around on bass, have had one major problem during their now long-lasting career: Misunderstanding. They've been lumped with Seattle "grunge" and regarded as yet another Black Sabbath revival band by people who most likely hadn't even properly listened to their music. The one thing they have in common Iommi and crew is the fact that they're both slow and heavy, so the comparisons are at least a tiny bit justified. And, yes, they have inspired some "grunge" bands and were personal friends and idols of a certain Kurt Cobain. But that's pretty much it. If you listen to them and expect Nirvana and/or Pearl Jam, prepare to be disappointed and/or disgusted by the sheer slow-, heavy- and weirdness.

Which leads us to "Ozma", their second full-length album, complete with Shirley Temple's daughter on bass. Unfortunately, the attempt to follow up the noisy avalanche of sound that was "Gluey Porch Treatments" with something similar, yet slightly different can be regarded as mostly failed. My overall impression of "Ozma" was that this is an attempt to sound more "accessible". The production's less dirty and seems to be aimed at maximum clarity which is definitely not a good thing. First of all, Dale Crover's drum onslaught has been put back in the mix. I mean, why would anyone do that? It's like undermixing Jimi Hendrix's guitar because it "interferes with the bass". Dumb, just dumb. And like it wasn't enough, they toned down Buzz's "10 million pounds of sludge from New York and New Jersey" guitar too. So, what's the result? We get a lot of empty space and more of Shirley Temple's daughter's noisy bass than usual. I'm sure that's what everyone wants... OK, I wouldn't bitch about the production so much if at least the songs were good. But unfortunately, most of them are in the so-so realm. The structures have been streamlined, compared to "Gluey Porch Treatments"'s free forms. There's still the occasional surprising 180-degrees turn and odd time signature here and there (like on "Creepy Smell"), but generally, most of the tracks are pretty "normal" and unmemorable. This is especially odd since the lengths have increased a bit and they often manage to cram more tempo changes and eccentric ideas into 40 seconds than into 2 minutes. But of course there's some exceptions. The appropriately-titled opening track "Vile", the aforementioned "Creepy Smell" (later ripped off by Nirvana for "School") or the especially dynamic "Kool Legged". "Love Thing" is a nice lil' tune and the unexpected cover of The Cars' "Candy-O" nice too, as is "Oven", but the rest is largely uninteresting.

In general, the problem is that the Melvins are one of worst bands to put on as background music, but on the other hand it's hard to concentrate on something this tamely produced and unmemorable.



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user ratings (122)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheMisterBungle
September 30th 2006


861 Comments


im getting into the melvins
i only have houdini

Zmev
September 30th 2006


983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Its their third if you count 10 Songs

ValiumMan
September 30th 2006


493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

10 Songs is an EP.

BTW: It'd be nice telling me what you didn't like about my review instead of just voting for "not well written".This Message Edited On 09.30.06

stinkypoptart
September 30th 2006


1169 Comments


i like the melvins alot. also ive never associated them with black sabbath at all, thats weird. This Message Edited On 09.30.06

Zmev
September 30th 2006


983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0


BTW: It'd be nice telling me what you didn't like about my review instead of just voting for "not well written".


if thats to me, then youre asking the wrong person

ValiumMan
September 30th 2006


493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nah, it was pointed towards whoever rated my review badly. I'm fine with bad ratings, but it needs to be constructive (eg I need to know the reason)

Spare
June 27th 2011


5360 Comments


sup guys

Spare
June 27th 2011


5360 Comments


aw man

Spare
June 27th 2011


5360 Comments


this album is ok

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2011


7404 Comments


Love Melvins but I've never actually heard this one

beeroine87
January 24th 2012


32 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is more than ok ... Also if you consider that the CD format includes their first LP as bonus then i can safely say one thing:

GET THIS ALBUM NOW !

melvins 3 first albums are classics for all the sludgeheads out there ...

Inveigh
February 27th 2012


25116 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this one is much better than I was expecting it to be

Digging: Hail Mary Mallon - Bestiary

Funeralopolis
March 28th 2012


11774 Comments


egg nog is a tasty treat

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

AcidCaravan
February 27th 2014


275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

u fucking jokin'?

qiblas
February 27th 2014


391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Saw Buzzo perform "let god be your gardener" last night on acoustic. It ruled!

DreamingWithTheDead
March 8th 2014


207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dale's drumming is so great on this. This is also kind of techy in terms of the confusing arrangements.

Cimnele
June 19th 2014


360 Comments


hrm

this is getting a really bad deal by only having one misleading review

accompliceofmydeath
June 19th 2014


4297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is really fucking cool, pay no mind to the review score.

Digging: Weekend Nachos - Unforgivable



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