Melvins

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Hostile Ambient Takeover

Melvins - Hostile Ambient Takeover ©2002 Ipecac Recordings
1. (untitled)
2. Black Stooges
3. Dr. Geek
4. Little Judas Chongo
5. The Fool, The Meddling Idiot
6. The Brain Center At Whipples
7. Foaming
8. The Anti-vermin Seed

It's nice to see some bands who keep themselves productive, as Melvins and related bands seem to release something ever two weeks. Yet they still manage to come up with what most likely will end up as one of my favorite albums of the year. Yeah, Melvins are indulgent bastards who have no trouble releasing a live album of what is arguably pure noise. But hey, that's part of the charm. Though it always makes it almost scary to buy a new album from them, as everyone seems to half-dread the prospect of a new Prick. Despite many releases, one could argue that the last "proper" studio album from Melvins was The Bootlicker, so this is something I've been anticipating for quite a while now.

Wow, I wrote an introduction. I'm the best reviewer-imposter ever!

What's next on the list? Oh yeah, descriptions! Awesome! Or should I be going over that tired old thing about how Nirvana loved Melvins? Yessir, apparently they did. Wooptidoo, and so forth.

I suppose we can call Hostile Ambient Takeover a normal Melvins album, whatever that is. There's some experimentation, but generally it, as always, hops between slow and heavy songs, and more rocking, odd numbers such as "Little judas chongo", a song which also has the strangest bass tone I've ever heard. As always the band is quite tight, but have a certain looseness that makes it feel very fresh'n'pineapple. And Dale's heavier-than-your-lame-triggered-favorite-will-ever-be drumming is something to behold in its own right. The high point of the album is without a doubt the slow and not at all brooding sixteen minute long "The anti-vermin seed", which against all my expectiations is a "real" song, not just tedious drugged out wank. Not to mention the fast "countrypunk" song, as my favorite Young Ones character calls it, "Dr. Geek", which is bound to get you squaredancing spastically all over the place. The fact that the slow "The fool, the meddling idiot" suddenly turns into some screwed up hippie discosong is pretty damn nifty as well. And for those of you who love collaborations: Tool's Adam Jones pops by to play some keyboard-type-thing such as a keyboard here.

What else is there to say? It's the Melvins, and it freaking rules. Everyone last one of you should buy this.

Review by Řystein H-O

Review date: 06/2002

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