Monday, May 27, 2013

REVIEW: The Melvins - Everybody Loves Sausages

30-year punk/metal/sludge rock veterans The Melvins return with a 13-track covers album titled Everybody Loves Sausages. Having been cited as influences themselves (by many members of Seattle's grunge scene and artists like Tool and Boris), they want to take this opportunity to share some of theirs. They cover a diverse selection of songs - art rock like Roxy Music's "In Every Dream Home A Heartache" and pop like Queen's "Best Friend," claiming (and, really, exhibiting) a genuine love for the originals. But of course one way to show your reverence, especially if you're a nonconformist yourself, is to change it up a little bit, and they certainly do. They also enlisted several friends: including Mudhoney's Mark Arm joining them for The Scientists' "Set It On Fire", Jello Biafra contributing the creepiest Bryan Ferry impersonation ever on "Dream Home", and Neurosis' Scott Kelly pitching in on a cover of Venom's "Warhead."

The opener, "Warhead" has a real Sabbath-meets-Black Flag vibe that is something you expect from these guys, and their reworking of the Kinks' "Attitude" (with Clem Burke of Blondie somewhere in there) is hot, fast and loud. Probably my favorite track is their off-kilter cover of Bowie's slightly off-kilter 10-plus minute white soul epic "Station to Station".  As with any covers record, some tracks work better than others, but with a group as iconoclastic as the Melvins, the song choices are almost as much fun as the music itself.

"This record will give people a peek 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." For your amusement, listed below is the complete track listing with original artist and guest player notation, as well as Osborne's notes on each track - you know, showing you how the sausage was made:

1. Warhead (Venom; Guest: Scott Kelly of Neurosis)
2. Best Friend (Queen; Guest: Caleb Benjamin of Tweak Bird)
3. Black Betty (Original artist unknown)
4.  Set It On Fire (The Scientists; Guest: Mark Arm)
5.  Station To Station (David Bowie; Guest: JG Thirlwell)
6.  Attitude (The Kinks: Guest: Clem Burke 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)

Warhead by Venom - We all love Venom.  Rumor has it that these guys are all Yoga instructors now.

Best Friend by Queen - This song was a pain in the ass to record but it came out great!  We knew it would be a head scratcher for our fans but that's kind of the deal with us.

Black Betty by Unknown - We recorded this as part of a Super Bowl contest.  We didn't win.

Set It On Fire by The Scientists - Early 80's punk rock from Perth Australia, No Shit.

Station To Station by Bowie - Bowie says he was so wacked out on coke during these recording sessions that he doesn't even remember any of this.

Attitude by The Kinks - The Kinks recorded this around the time they were raking in royalties from Van Halen's cover of "You Really Got Me."  Unfortunately, they won't be making anywhere near as much from this.

Female Trouble by Divine - Title song from my favorite John Waters movie.  We've wanted to record this for years.  Isn't that a pretty sight.

Carpe Diem by The Fugs - The Fugs were the kind of hippies I liked: mean spirited with a wicked sense of humor.  Actually I could have said the same thing about John Waters.

Timothy Leary Lives by Pop-O-Pies - I saw these guys in Seattle a few times in the early '80s.  The last time I saw them the singer begged the audience to just give him money so he wouldn't have to tour.

In Every Dream Home A Heartache by Roxy Music - Biafra sounds even weirder than Brian Ferry... that is incredible.  It was great to play with Kevin again!

Romance by Tales of Terror -  Their 1984 album is one of the best record to come out of California... anywhere actually.

Art School by The Jam - This was one of the first punk bands I ever heard.  I still like this stuff.  It's nice when that happens.

Heathen Earth by Throbbing Gristle - One of the best bands ever.

The Melvins Website
Ipecac Recordings Website

No comments: