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Singles 1-12

Melvins

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Album Review

In 1996, the Melvins and Amphetamine Reptile delivered one 7" single every month of the year in quantities limited to 800 worldwide. AmRep handily compiled all 24 sides on the two-CD set Singles 1-12, which was of likewise limited release. The package features alternate mixes (like the intentionally obtuse versions of songs they submitted to Atlantic Records); some swell cover tunes (they manage to speed up the already hardcore "Lexicon Devil" by early Hollywood punks the Germs and slow down the at-a-snails pace "Way of the World" by slowcore pioneers Flipper); live improvisational endurance tests performed by these perennial openers in reaction to playing in front of crowds who could care less about them; plus assorted outtakes, one-offs, and other tomfoolery (their smirking take on Brit-pop, "In the Rain," is ironically catchy). Necessary material for fanatics and collectors, Singles 1-12 betrays not only the Melvins' metal/punk roots, but their ability to be both frightening and hilarious.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Aberdeen, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Melvins were the first post-punk band to revel in the slow, sludgy sounds of Black Sabbath. Their music is oppressively slow and heavy, only without any of the silly mystical lyrics or the indulgent guitar solos; it's just one massive, oozing pile of dark slime. The Melvins' first record was released in 1987; they've released many albums since then, but it wasn't until 1993 that they went to a major label, thanks to their protégé, Kurt Cobain....
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