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Album Review

From any other band, an album like Honky would seem an aberration at best, an anti-commercial finger in the eye at worst. But in the hands of the Melvins, it is both of these and much, much more. This, of course, from a band whose previous Amrep release was Prick, a collection, if you will, of strange sounds, silent tracks, and goofs on the listener. However, to those — and that would be the majority — Melvins fans who had grown accustomed to the metallic sludge exhibited on classics like Gluey Porch Treatments, Bullhead, and Eggnog; or those who had jumped aboard during the more commercial period of Houdini and Stoner Witch, Honky proved a sore point. It is a deliberately strange concoction of ambient pieces, avant-noise games and experiments, with the occasional driving noise metal track. But to more eclectic and open ears, Honky is a peculiar, interesting, nuanced work that shows this band is indeed capable of just about anything it puts its collective mind to, and each listen is even more rewarding. The opening track, "They All Must Be Slaughtered," is a lengthy, eerie, quasi-ethereal piece with additional vocals by Babes in Toyland's Kat Bjelland, and that certainly sets the tone for the rest of the album.


Formed: 1985 in Aberdeen, WA

Genre: Rock

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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