Review: Melvins

“Hostile Ambient Takeover”

The Melvins have quite a track record and this record marks the eighteenth on their track, and the fifth on Mike Patton’s Ipecac records.  “Hostile Ambient Takeover,” recorded blocks away from my apartment in North Hollywood, is in every way shape and deform a Melvin’s record.  Which is to say that it is most certainly not by any other band as is evident up there at the very top of this small review column where it says, “Melvins.”  It wouldn’t say that if the album were by anyone else.  The first song on H.A.T. is a slab of traditional gruelingly heavy Melvin’s crunch work called “Black Stooges,” which is followed by feedback, squeals, buzzing, and an upbeat rock and roll number looking down the road to country and western towne.  The album then resumes it’s sludgy crushing post-Sabbath heavy intensity. If there’s anyone who has read the review this far and hasn’t heard the Melvins then you should go hear some.  They are thee impetus of the Seattle scene, the Sine Quo Non of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, oily hair, stubble-chinned faces, flannel, shotgun suicides and all the rest of the sputum subsequently thus generated. “Hostile Ambient Takeover” ranks right up there with the rest of the Melvin’s albums.  Eighteen years on and seventeen albums since Gluey Porch Treatments, The Melvin’s are still in great form.