Melvins - Houdini (Cover Artwork)


Melvins: HoudiniHoudini (1993)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: Anonymousanonymous
(others by this writer | submit your own)

So anyway, I was hanging out with my good friend Beethoven, circa-before-he-became-totally-deaf, when the subject of music came up in our conversation. He asked me, "how has music changed in the past, oh, say, 1,174 years? 'Fill me in,' if you will, on some recent highlights..." .
iTunes StoreAmazon

So anyway, I was hanging out with my good friend Beethoven, circa-before-he-became-totally-deaf, when the subject of music came up in our conversation.

He asked me, "how has music changed in the past, oh, say, 1,174 years? 'Fill me in,' if you will, on some recent highlights..."

"Ah, Ludwig!" I told him. "Glad you asked!"

All I needed to do was pop a little pink disc bearing a two-headed puppy into my stereo. I hit play, and the speakers swelled with the monster drumming of Dale Crover, of none other than the Melvins! The album was Houdini, and the song was "Hooch."

"Mein Gott! That man sure can hit!" Beethoven exclaimed, captivated by the fierce drumming of Mr. Crover, who can indeed hit.

"Like what you hear, Beethoven?" I asked with a knowing glance.

"JA, DAS IST SUPER!" he cheered. "More! More!"

"Oh, just listen a little closer, my friend! Listen to that chorus in 'Hooch'! That's all that needs to be said about the power of this band! And those nonsensical lyrics! It's like it's some kind of pig Latin or something!"

"Ja, das ist gut! But Buzz's vocals! He can growl with the best of them!" Beethoven chimed in.

"I know it! Ooh, listen! Track two, 'Night Goat' is on! Listen to that detuned guitar! Those pulverizing drums! Lorax's fuzzed-out bass line!"

"Lorax?" Beethoven asked curiously in his Kraut voice. "Yeah, Lorax. She was the bass player during this time period and for a couple of other albums, as well. I'm not sure what happened to her, I heard she ended up a junkie or some shit. Kevin Rutmanis from the Cows plays in the Melvins now, so nevermind... But dammit if that bass line doesn't lurk in exactly the right spot!"

"Oooh, I know! It begins the song perfectly, setting the appropriate dark mood into place," Ludwig said with awe. "And Buzz? Is that his name?" he asked shyly.

I shook my head "yes," grinning. "His screams during the chorus! Chilling, almost! Creepy, I guess you could say," Beethoven said, glowing with joy.

"'Fraid so, my genius friend," I said, the unholy screams of singer Buzz Osbourne filling my room and tickling our ears.

"Hmm, what's this song?" Beethoven asked me, reaching for the CD case as "Night Goat" ended, much to Beethoven's dismay.

"Oh, you mean 'Lizzy'? Yeah, track three has an almost country-like vibe to it, with Buzz almost 'singing' lyrics about some 'he' being 'somebody's daughter' in the verses, but only to be followed by more of the grinding riffage, monolithic trap-work, burly, belching vocals, and moody bass guitar that all explode simultaneously in the chorus! Yet another gem, it is!"

Beethoven, enjoying his first day on millennial Earth, looked to be having a great time indeed, bobbing his head, drumming on his legs, and playing air guitar. Track three ended and track four, "Going Blind," began.

"Yeah, this song 'Going Blind' is actually a Kiss cover," I explained to Beethoven.

"Kiss?" Beethoven inquired, puzzled. "Oh. Yeah. Kiss was a 1970s rock group. They dressed up in platform shoes, wore make-up, ah, nevermind... But this song is a cover of one of their songs. And it's totally Melvin-ized!" I beamed proudly.

Three quick drumstick-clicks echoed off of the walls one right after another, and a dropped-D riff crunched its way into mine and Beethoven's ears. Beethoven pulled out his trusty air-guitar yet again, but seemed to drop it. He gazed at me, eyes wide.

"Scheister! Mein Mutter! What is... This? This is... This is the best song I've heard yet! What song is this?!" he asked me, jaw dropping.

"Oh, this song is 'Honey Bucket," and it sure is a 'honey bucket.' This is the best damn song on the whole album, and I'll be a fucking Backstreet Boy if it ain't one of the heaviest songs I've ever heard!"

"'Backstreet Boy'?" he asked me, confused yet again.

"Um, nevermind," I said quickly.

"Ach. But that time signature! Those drum beats!" Beethoven exclaimed with boyish enthusiam. "That guitar! Oh, and listen! It's like it's two songs in one! It starts off slower, then the drums begin rolling, and the whole band is interlocked into one fast-paced mood, all after Buzz cranks out another grinding... 'riff,' is it?"

I shook my head "yes."

"Riff! And there's about THREE good ones in the whole thing! This is almost as good as Mozart! This is... 'rock,' is it?"

I shook my head "yes" again. "This is rock HEAVEN! Top-notch! Where can I get this?!" he asked me, nearly frothing at the mouth.

"Any good record store will do," I informed him, grinning.

"Record? But is this not a 'CD'?" he asked me, a little befuddled.

"Oh, nevermind," I said to him, "just tell them you're looking for some Melvins, specifically Houdini."

"What does the rest of the, er, 'record,' hold in store for me?" he asked eagerly.

"Oh, but that would be spoiling the treasures awaiting you! Just go get the dang thing!"

"Will do!" Beethoven said, and got up and left, his short, stocky body on a mad dash for the nearest record store.


People who liked this also liked:
Minor Threat - Complete DiscographyDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyBad Brains - Bad BrainsPropagandhi - Failed StatesFugazi - 13 SongsBad Religion - SufferRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeBlack Flag - DamagedThe Clash - London Calling

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

Melvins are one of the most influencal undergrounf band ever along with Minor threat, Husker Du and Meat Puppets. Incredible mix of punk, heavy metal, hardcore, alternative. So you know they find out the "grunge".

future_matt (July 26, 2004)

Kind of weird...but, sometimes weird can be a good thing. In this case it was. Drony heavy rock, but still creative.

Anonymous (July 9, 2004)

i was always afraid of the melvins, mainly because of their tendency to play droning tuneless dreck on a lot of their albums. however, i took a chance on houdini the other day and i've probably listened to it about 15 times already. there's still some dreck (spread eagle beagle), but honey goat, set me straight, and goin blind and others are everything i wanted rock to be in 1993, and wish it still was.
couldn't come with a higher recommendation.

Anonymous (June 21, 2004)

Yeah, this album rocks.

Anonymous (July 10, 2003)

Beethoven's only been dead for like 300 years.

ambiotical_sophisticrat (August 5, 2002)

holy shit someone finally reviewed the melvins. all should bow down to the melvins.

Sidelineforlife15 (February 21, 2002)


theboywhocriedangel (January 21, 2002)

HMMMM... no, sorry, i am not fathead. in fact, i have proof: this is the only review where i relied solely on a gimmick.

Anonymous (January 19, 2002)

good review....sounds good.yet sounds like a fathead review.....hmm

Anonymous (January 18, 2002)

Melvins rock.

Lorax has a band of her own now. They're pretty cool. Really pissed off type stuff.

evildeadalive (January 14, 2002)

Kudos to scott for saying kudos. Seriously.

Anonymous (January 14, 2002)

Good Review, but I always considered the Melvins more of a metal band, or just a heavy garage band. They're not bad, just they have more in common with Black Sabbath than any punk band.

maverick (January 14, 2002)

Well, I don't like the Melvins very much, but after a great review like this, I might go give them a second chance. Kudos.


Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go