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A Senile Animal


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After years of experiments and conceptual pranks, it’s gratifying to hear the Melvins deliver an outright rock album, no holds barred. Their muscles are ripped and burning like never before. The addition of bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis thickens the group’s assault. The reinforced rhythmic attack is felt especially hard on “The Talking Horse,” “Blood Witch” and “The Hawk.” But just because the new songs are slamming doesn’t mean they've given up being contrarians. In a year when young indie rockers are rediscovering the group’s early slow-burning albums, leave to the Melvins to turn around and embrace the breakneck thrash of “A History Of Drunks” and “Rat Faced Granny,” which ignite with the primal vocals of Willis and Warren. Even amidst all the celebratory brutality, the band offers “Civilized Worm,” a song that achieves a kind of poignancy, at least by Melvins standards. The album’s final three songs form an epic trilogy into which the band throws everything they’ve learned up to this point. This is a furnace of an album — there’s more than enough to keep you warm for a long time to come.

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Published Review

Throughout their long history, the Melvins have never shied away from collaborations. In this decade alone, the band's released albums with Fantomas, Lustmord, and the Dead Kennedy's Jello Biafra. Their latest album, A Senile Animal, could also been seen as another multi-group effort – after all, it features Big Business' Coady Willis and Jared Williams on drums and bass, respectively – but it's really Melvins through and through. Seeing how they've bounced back and forth between a more easily digestible sound and the type of music that sticks in the average music fans' craw, it's easiest to say that A Senile Animal is Melvins' circa Houdini and Stoner Witch. The time spent exploring sonic drone and arty noise has, for the time being, been mercifully ended, and King Buzzo, Dale Crover, and the two new hired guns have instead written an accessible album that never loses the natural, heavy weirdness that makes the band so good. When Buzzo screeches, “You think you're wild, but you're nothing new” in “Rat Faced Granny,” it's not self-referential. A Senile Animal may be familiar sounding, but it's definitely an out of control record. With Big Business in the band, there are three added bonuses. First are the harmonies. Both Willis and Williams are credited with vocals along with Buzzo, and they add a new dynamic (especially on “A History of Drunks,” “The Hawk,” and “A History of Bad Men”). Second, Williams' distinct bass sound – a thick metallic buzz – fills out the low-end of the album (again, “A History of Bad Men”). The biggest draw to the album – two drummers – is handled by splitting Willis and Crover to the right and left. It's a good experience with a decent pair of headphones, but for the most part, the two play in tandem. There are moments where they freak out (usually at the end of a song) and/or play distinct rhythms, but overall having two drummers doesn't really amount to much. Throughout their long history, the Melvins have also had a reputation for discarding bassists on a regular basis, so this may be a one-shot deal. It would be a shame if the band can't capitalize on what they've created here, as A Senile Animal is genius. I haven't felt this good about a Melvins album in years.

New line-up means new album

Buzz and Dale will never leave the Melvins, so that means their bass-players will be the ones that change. Not only do they get a new bassist (Jared from Big Business) but a second drummer as well (Coady also from Big Business). Yes, two of the best drummers at the same time! It adds a great new dynamic to the band. Not only are there double the drums, but double (and sometimes tripple) the vocals. Yep, harmonizing vocals. All of these new changes are welcome and they really make this album amazing. This is a great album and you will not be dissapointed.

Fantastic to say the least

I only own a handful of Melvins albums (Hostile Ambient Takeover, Mangled Demos, and a few songs off of Singles 1-12 and Stoner Witch). As far as my collection, this album sounds the most well put together. Not too much noise and space. The drums actually pretty clean compared to Hostile Ambient Takeover. The overall sound is Huge(!). Two Drummers really thicken up the ensemble, with some nice back and forth fills, creating a stereo effect in the listeners headphones. Also, sometimes the groove channels a very tribal feel, i.e. about 1:22 into the song "You've Never Been Right." It's pretty intense. The guitar riff on the song "The Hawk" is downright metal. Heavy, heavy, heavy. The last few songs feel like the Melvins of old. Slow yet intense. What more can I say. Oh, another thing. The vocals. The album is dominated by lots of harmony. In "The Talking Horse", it's almost too much, but other times it works, as in "Civilized Worm" "The Hawk," and "A History of Bad Men". Overall, this album definitely puts up. The Melvins are indeed back with another kick-a** metal album. I call it metal, you may call it something else. We can hopefully agree that this album is great. Buy it if you haven't!


Fecha de formación: Aberdeen, WA, 1985

Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '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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