(the) Melvins – Everybody Loves Sausages (the) Melvins – Everybody Loves Sausages

melvinssausage1Shit, I know I wrote about (the) Melvins before. Which album did I do it for? I know it wasn’t during the band’s classic lineup (King Buzzo, Dale Crover & guest) where they tore through the 90’s like a drunk rhino through a porcelain doll shop. No. It must of have been during the mid 00’s when the band fused together with members of Big Business (Coady Willis & Jared Warren) and were dubbed, at least in my head, Big Melvins. Big Melvins differs from the most recent incarnation known as Melvins Lite (Buzzo, Crover + Tomahawk bassit Trevor Dunn). Big Melvins released a fantastic EP with Scion in 2012 only to be followed up by a full length by the Melvins Lite lineup. I need a flow chart to keep track of everything. Now, to make things more complicated the freeform shape known as (the) Melvins combines all members as well as a handful of guests and releases a cover albums of whacked out tributes. I need a minute to go through my notes now.

Everybody Loves Sausages pulls together covers from Bowie, The Kinks, Queen, Venom, and The Jam and features an array of guests including Neurosis’ Scott Kelly, Blondie’s Clem Burke, Tweak Bird’s Caleb Benjamin and Dead Kennedy’s Jello Biafra. The result is an uneven but entirely entertaining send up that is just as much about irreverence as it is about tribute to known and unknown influences. Be prepared to be shocked, amazed and fully entertained by the Melvins own variety hour.

Fanfare. Applause.

One of the largest successes a band can have when doing covers is presenting a familiar, or even unfamiliar track, with a new dimension while still keeping the spirit of the original. Though Everybody Loves Sausages doesn’t really hold together as an entire record, it’s strengths are focused in the treatment of individual tracks. David Bowie’s “Station to Station” which was recorded in the depths of his drug addiction retains the same alienating atmosphere of the original but adds an edge of foreboding terror with razor guitar work from Buzzo. It is a song like this, along with other deeper cuts like Divine’s bluesy trash opus “Female Trouble” which appeared in the John Waters’ film Pink Flamingos, which makes this album truly special.

Aside from “Black Betty” and Queen’s “You’re my Best Friend,” Everybody Loves Sausages aims for obscurity. Unless you’re really into 60’s proto-punk, Australian post-punk or forgotten 80’s Seattle local music, some of these songs are going to be new to you. The scope of the material is strong and only makes the listener more interested in the original. The band’s treatment of The Fugs’ “Carpe Diem” transform the fatalistic psych folk song into something more haunting with the addition of distorted instruments. The sense of haunting continues with the Jello Biafra led nine-minute treatment of the progressive glam number “In Every Dream Home A Heartache” by Roxy Music. The original was already halfway to unhinged but Biafra’s ghastly voice makes the entire experience exponential in its tension.

(the) Melvins have continued to impress despite their convoluted structure. My first reaction when encountering cover albums is indifference as the format is usually lazy and doesn’t demand too much critical attention. It’s evident, however, that (the) Melvins care bout these songs and their choices circumvent the format, allowing for an entertaining album that never misses a beat. Alright, you guys got me. I was wrong. This is pretty damn awesome.

Fanfare. Applesauce.

(the) Melvins Everybody Loves Sausages Tracklist

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)

(the) Melvins - Everybody Loves Sausages , reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2013-04-09T10:02:32-07:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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