Melvins
The Maggot


4.5
superb

Review

by AliW1993 USER (134 Reviews)
November 3rd, 2008 | 38 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The first part of The Trilogy sees the Melvins temporarily returning to their roots and proving they can still make music heavier and more sludgy than almost anyone else.

The late nineties was a time of much change for the Melvins. In 1997 they were dropped from major label Atlantic Records after three albums. The reasons for this were simple; the grunge wave they had helped inspire was all but gone, and their music was just too inaccessible to appeal to anyone but their existing fans. This inaccessibility reached its peak on Atlantic with the release of 1996’s Stag, which was made up of largely experimental material, making it a challenging listen. The bands first album since being dropped, 1997’s Honky continued this fashion, only this time it was even more extreme, with very little of what most would call actual music.

For their next project, the Melvins released three albums, collectively known as The Trilogy in 1999 and 2000 on Ipecac recordings. The first of these was called The Maggot, and differed from the experimental direction the band had been heading. The sound of the album is in fact more similar to their early material such as Gluey Porch Treatments, with tempos varying from extremely fast to extremely slow, whilst remaining crushingly heavy all the way through. In comparison to Stag and Honky, the music on The Maggot is relatively accessible. The band made up for this though, by awkwardly splitting every song on the CD version into two separate tracks, making it almost impossible to put on shuffle.

The album kicks off with Amazon. It is an excellent opener with all instruments played at blistering speed, and King Buzzo’s vocals more similar to the high pitched squawks of the bands early days than the trademark growl for which he had become known in the early nineties. Buzzo’s guitar work is particularly impressive in this song, with some brilliant frantic riffs. The next song, AMAZON is much slower, but no less engaging. Although it is highly repetitive, it never becomes dull, as the riff being repeated is one of the queasiest and most sludgy the band have ever written. As the song goes on, feedback comes into play, meaning the song becomes more and more intense as it goes on.

In most albums and songs, this feedback would be building up to an epic ending for the song. Here however, AMAZON ends suddenly, before We All Love Judy explodes into action. We All Love Judy is a simple punk influenced metal song, which again is quite repetitive, with the same lyrics and riffs all the way through, but again never becomes dull because of the quality of what is being repeated. Like AMAZON, We All Love Judy ends without warning, making way for a low pitched droning noise which goes on for two minutes before exploding into the slow, sludgy riffs of Manky, another song that displays the sheer heaviness of the album.

A cover of the Fleetwood Mac’s The Green Manelishi provides a stop for breath before the band tear through The Horn Bearer, another song played at extreme speed, and possibly the most aggressive on the album. This relatively short song is followed by an instrumental called Judy, which is driven by an excellent rolling bass line, building in intensity as the song goes on. Judy is in fact one of the few times on the album when the bass can actually be heard clearly. This may be because bassist Kevin Rutmanis seems to be playing the same as King Buzzo on all the other songs, contributing to the heavy, sludgy sound.

The real purpose of Judy however, appears to be as build up to epic closer, See How Pretty, See How Smart. This song is similar in structure to other songs on the album in that it is repetitive and becomes more and more intense. Here however there is a climax, as the riffs become faster, the drums are hit harder and a high pitched scream begins over the noise. This serves as a fitting end to a truly monstrous album, by far the best of The Trilogy, and one of the greatest the Melvins have ever released. What is particularly impressive is the way in which some of the slower, sludgy songs act as build up to other faster songs, making them even more effective in the context of the album. Examples of this are AMAZON building up to We All Love Judy, and Judy building up to See How Pretty, See How Smart.

Although this journey back to their roots was only a temporary one for the Melvins, it proved that they are still capable of pushing the extremes, and making music heavier and more sludgy than almost anyone else.

Reccomended Tracks
We All Love Judy
Amazon
AMAZON
See How Pretty, See How Smart
Manky



Recent reviews by this author
Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat Everything's Getting OlderBelle and Sebastian Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
Lapsley UnderstudyThe Twilight Sad Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave
King Creosote From Scotland With LoveRM Hubbert First and Last
user ratings (165)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
November 3rd 2008


7511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haven't done many reviews, so please point out any flaws so i can fix it

fireaboveicebelow
November 3rd 2008


6832 Comments


it's not a bad review by any means, but maybe since you have done 3 reviews in the same format, why not try a new one? maybe a sort of concept review or something, I dunno, but try something that isn't a hidden track-by-track review. I'll pos btwThis Message Edited On 11.03.08

AliW1993
November 3rd 2008


7511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks for the pos, i might try something different next time

Bleak123
November 3rd 2008


1900 Comments


Yeah reviews not bad, I'd just suggest fleshing out the paragraphs a tad more.
I'll pos though, as it's quite good.This Message Edited On 11.03.08

fireaboveicebelow
November 3rd 2008


6832 Comments


another thing, is the track listing messed up, cuz according to your review all those double songs should be one

Spamue1G
November 3rd 2008


1291 Comments


Yeah, the track listing really needs sorting out!
Good review generally, but it was pretty boring to read. As fireabove said, try not to do tbts. The small paragraphs that you write in could be put together, as well. It was a pretty informative review, though, just next time concentrate on the overall feel of the album rather than each individual song.

any14doomsday
November 3rd 2008


680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album rules !

NotMrBlonde
November 3rd 2008


394 Comments


I've never really liked The Melvins, although Boris is a fabulous song.

shindip
July 31st 2010


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

once the riff on Manky kicks in my face rips itself off

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012


14081 Comments


that tends to happen

Digging: Carpe Noctem - In Terra Profugus

evilford
March 27th 2012


40662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is underrated in Melvins' discog

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012


14081 Comments


cus people don't think flowers can be metal but Melvins sucker punch you in the face.

evilford
March 27th 2012


40662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that is exactly what happens!

InbredJed
September 16th 2012


6528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album tastes soooo sex!

Digging: Wesley Willis - Greatest Hits Vol. 2

Lelle
August 7th 2013


2406 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is pretty good. What else by the Melvins should I try if I like this? (I have listened to Bullhead and Houdini and they are nice but haven't really stuck in my head yet)

evilford
December 9th 2013


40662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I remember this being really great but I haven't heard it in years, gotta dig this up

InbredJed
December 9th 2013


6528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best to let this album rip you in one un-interrupted blast.

evilford
December 27th 2013


40662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

man, manky is such a sick ass jam

KILL
December 27th 2013


80922 Comments


avnt erd

Digging: Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Disdained

evilford
December 27th 2013


40662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love it but based on your melvins ratings you'd prob 3 it



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy