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THE MELVINS
MANGLED DEMOS FROM 1983
IPECAC

Yes, these lo-fi tracks are mangled, in the sense that the original preĖDale Crover line-up of the Washington band who turned high-school pals Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic on to punk rock were hell-bent on fusing metal, hardcore, punk, and even strains of rockabilly and country on these their first-ever recordings. Tempos change, guitar strings snap, and one style is thrashed into another, mid song, as drummer Mike Dillard, soon-to-be Mudhoney bassist Matt Luken, and founding guitarist/singer Buzz Osbourne find their footing. Itís hard to know what to make of a 12-bar verse section apparently lifted from Hüsker Dü that then shifts into a Bob Wills C&W bridge, a "technique" not uncommon in the realm of the Melvins. "The Real You" begins with a Spector wall-of-sound drum beat perhaps borrowed from the Jesus and Mary Chain before launching into a messy breakneck tempo. The best parts of this 23-track collection are dispatches from the field ó a kind of audio vérité. "I have a hunch that we are about to get our sinuses cleared," one broadcaster remarks to his partner at an early Melvins "concert" ó an Elks Lodge Christmas benefit. Itís a prelude to an audio assault that gets the plug pulled mid song.

BY COLIN FLEMING


Issue Date: July 8 - 14, 2005
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