Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Review #40: The Melvins - Smash the State (EP) (2007)


Year: 2007
Genre: Punk Rock
Sub-Genres: Hardcore
Label: Ipecac Records
Tracks: 4
Length: 4 Minutes (Very Short)
Style: Weird
My Rating: 5/8

The Melvins are a punk-rock band that formed in the great state of Washington. Starting out as a very aggressive hardcore band, they eventually simultaneously invented what people call the two genres of "grunge" and "sludge-metal" by making their music slower, heavier, and more complex. For the most part of their history, the Melvins have been playing their trademark style of extremely heavy and slow music. However, in this record, they return to their initial style.

1. Smash the State
Already fast and noisy like the Melvins of old! The lyrics can't even be deciphered. Background vocals can be heard. I wonder if it's Dale. Speaking of which, I wonder how it feels to be playing unusually fast beats all the sudden. Ends with a weird solo and Buzz barking "Smash the State!"

2. Stalin's Solution
Buzz opens this one with... fuck, I can't understand hardly anything he says in this record. Sounds very similar to the first track, except in the chorus section of the song, there's a lot of abrupt pauses in the music. End of Side 1.

3. Communist Concubine
These songs are all played in the same damn key! Which is okay, at least they're all good songs. It's fast. Buzz yells. There's an electric guitar. Hardcore.

4. Useful Idiot
The only relatively slow song on the record (certainly not as slow as the Melvins have been before, though). It doesn't sound like the others. Sounds like Dale Crover speaking in the beginning with Buzz speaking in the background. The chorus is sung by both of them. There's a repeated line, "I'm the useful idiot!".

This EP is really short. Shorter than an early Black Flag record or "In a Car". There's probably shorter ones still, though. Like, an EP that's two minutes long with one minute on each side. Or an EP that's one minute long with thirty seconds on each side. Damn, that'd be like... a 4" vinyl, right? Do those even exist? Anywhere? Any... way, this is probably the closest to being political that the Melvins have ever gotten and probably will ever get. The record is laden with references to communism and anarchism. Still, I have a hard time believing the Melvins are such staunch communists. They seem the least concerned with that sort of thing out of most punk-rockers. But I digress... this is not a sludge record. It's very fast and thrashy. So if you like their old hardcore stuff (Deep Six, 26 Songs, Mangled Demos from 1983, Making Love Demos), you'll probably like this, though it's a new record, so there are some elements of their newer sound in here. And don't miss their new record. It's coming out before this summer, supposedly. They record it next month. Hopefully it'll be awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blog Archive