Tuesday 30 April 2013

Melvins - Everybody Loves Sausages (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 29/4/2013
Label : Ipecac

Everybody Loves Sausages, album tracklisting:
1. Warhead (Venom) Guest, Scott Kelly of Neurosis
2. Best Friend (Queen) Guest: Caleb Benjamin of Tweak Bird
3. Black Betty (original artist unknown, a popular version is by Ram Jam)
4. Set It On Fire (The Scientists) Guest Mark Arm
5. Station to Station (David Bowie) Guest: JG Thirlwell of Foetus and others
6. Attitude (The Kinks) Guest: Clem Bure of Blondie
7. Female Trouble (Divine, written by John Waters)
8. Carpe Diem (The Fugs)
9. Timothy Leary Lives (Pop-O-Pies)
10. In Every Dream Home a Heartache (Roxy Music) Guests: Jello Biafra and Kevin Rutmanis
11. Romance (Tales of Terror)
12. Art School (The Jam) Guest: Tom Hazelmeyer
13. Heathen Earth (Throbbing Gristle

"This record will give people a peak into the kind of things that influence us musically," explains Buzz Osborne. "We REALLY like all of these songs along with the bands who actually wrote this stuff because first and foremost we are HUGE music fans."

In a decidedly Melvins approach to a covers album, the band not only selected a unique assortment of songs to cover, ranging from Roxy Music's "In Every Dream Home A Heartache" to Queen's "Best Friend," they also enlisted several friends to take part including Mudhoney's Mark Arm joining them for The Scientists' "Set It On Fire" and Neurosis' Scott Kelly pitching in on a cover of Venom's "Warhead."

While the release is billed as a proper Melvins' album (featuring the line-up of Osborne, Dale Crover, Jared Warren and Coady Willis), there are a handful of songs recorded as the Melvins Lite incarnation of the band (Osborne, Crover and Trevor Dunn):  "Female Trouble" (Divine a.k.a. John Waters), "Timothy Leary Lives" (Pop-O-Pies) and "Romance By Tales of Terror" (Tales of Terror

I'll start this off with a fair warning: this may well be the most biased review you will ever read in your entire life. It's gonna focus on volume, fuzz and pure electric awesomeness incarnate.
I fucking love the Melvins.
I don't even care. I'm actually wearing a Melvins shirt right now, as I write this. I'm grinning like the cat that was baked and THEN got the cream. The cat is high, in the weird situation just then - that's what I was going for. Whatever. I really like the Melvins, that's the long and short of it.
And so, here we are with the very Melvinsy titled covers collection of 'Everybody Loves Sausages'. Nothing about that makes sense, and that's just one of the many reasons they rule. If you're here and you're reading this then no doubt you will probably recognise the band as the outright godfathers of Sludge. They pretty much birthed the blueprint for the sound of your favourite band's favourite band. But even they had their influences, and Buzz, Dale and co. have always been quite open and frank about the groups and songs that they love and the part that they played in leading them to where they are today. So let's take a look under the lid then.
As far as genius openers go, the band's take on 'Warhead' by Venom is downright spectacular. It's so heavy it runs real risk of shifting the Earth off it's axis, or dispelling gravity altogether somehow. The only thing that could possibly make this any better is if Scott Kelly was drafted in for vocal duties. Wait, they did? He is? That would explain why I just flew off the planet.
Another diamond is the stone cold classic that Ram Jam made famous, 'Black Betty'. Buzz fits into the vocal style perfectly, and that riff had to be partially conceived to be covered by this band. Loud, fuzzy, riotous and very rock n' roll.
'Station to Station' is obviously amazing, and Bowie is a creative dynamo. That same energy runs deep here, and 11+ minutes of pure mind blowing structure means I need a mop to wipe up what just flew out the back of my skull. My office floor is a mess. That rug is ruined.
I really quite dig Roxy Music, and Bryan Ferry is the fucking mack. He's a smooth operator and the archetypal frontman. Long time Melvins collaborator Jello Biafra puts in a very fine performance on 'In Every Dreamhome a Heartache'. Dale pounds the skins as per (with 100% conviction), and Buzzo assaults that damn guitar to the brink of extinction. AGAIN.
As always there is plenty of leftfield stuff on a Melvins record, and the curveball contained here is the Throbbing Gristle track 'Heathen Earth'. Like a John Carpenter soundtrack to a really tense scene on the moon, it's insane and makes little sense as the closing piece. Which is totally what you would expect. Brilliant.
In closing, 'Sausages' is a covers album by the Melvins. It's heavy, loud, weird and completely excellent. Everything you would expect and more. That's really all there is to say.

Words by : Matt Fitton

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch.  This record is available everywhere now.  Thanks as always to Lauren @ Rarely Unable for the hook up.