Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review #84: The Melvins - With Yo' Heart, Not Yo' Hands (Single) (1990)


Year: 1990
Genre: Punk Rock
Grunge, Post-Punk
Label: Sympathy For the Record Industry

8 Minutes (Short)
My Rating:

I read somewhere that Buzz Osborne considers the early grunge band Malfunkshun one of the greatest bands to come out of the Seattle scene. Though they never released an actual record (they were featured on the Deep Six compilation) during the lifetime of frontman Andrew Wood (an LP was finally released in 1995), they accumulated quite a positive reputation, and were one of the top bands of the early grunge scene in the mid 1980s, before the word "grunge" was ever even once used to describe it! Judging by the release date of the album (Andrew Wood passed away in 1990 right before Mother Love Bone's debut LP came out), this was likely a tribute to the man, or at least a sad case of irony. It's also interesting for having two different B-Side tracks, little-known cuts that many Melvins fans have not heard. These include the short-but-sweet sludge-punk beauty of "Four Letter Woman" and the humorous sample-laden "Anal Satan".

1. With Yo' Heart, Not Yo' Hands
As you might already know, it's a Malfunkshun cover. The lyrics seem somewhat sexual, maybe a dark love song of some sort. It's slow and quite lead driven. The riff is sinister and bleak. The song ends in a final blitz of feedback and noise that feel like electricity. It's over four minutes long. Now let's listen to the next songs...

2. Four-Letter Woman
It took me awhile to figure this out, but I think the "four letter woman" is Lori. L-O-R-I. Like, from the Melvins. She plays bass guitar on this album. The song variates from hardcore punk pounding to sludge-metal thumping, with a murky, cool riff. Buzz's vocals are great in this song, he makes great use a vibrato technique in the sung section. The song ends in a section similar to the part that precedes the verse section. The song is under two minutes long.

3. Anal Satan
This one to me totally sounds like a Butthole Surfers song. Yet the Melvins are indeed demented enough to come up with a song like this. The song ends with Buzz yelling "YOU'RE GOING TO THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE!! YOU'RE GOING TO GET A SPANKINGG!!". The song uses a heavy amount of industrial/hip-hop style sampling, slowed down fragments, sped-up clippets, and clips of Dale from the Melvins dissing Bruce Pavitt from Sub-Pop Records for not originally putting out this record like they intended. The main lyrics are clips of two different voices shouting "ANAL! SATAN..." -- quite a fun song, showing the Melvins deviating from their main trade. The song ends with a semi-musical fanfare from what sounds like a chainsaw.

Well, I thought it was quite good for a somewhat obscure 3-song 7" vinyl EP record thing that you put in your record player that spins it around so it can play a pattern of sounds based off of the grooves in the aforementioned piece of plastic that creates noises that do in fact resemble the Melvins playing music for you. To be honest, the A-Side I didn't enjoy as much as the B-Sides. Say what you will. I just haven't gotten ultra into it, yet. I actually liked the original Malfunkshun version better. I guess that iz to be expected, though. One thing I noticed about this album's art though is a certain kreepy kreature that is also on the art for the "Oven" single from 1989... do you think THIS guy is the "Anal Satan" we've been hearing about so much?

..........(Exhibit A) ....................... (Previous Sighting, c. '89)

Now think about it before you judge... if Satan DOES exist, then nobody living knows what he looks like so we can not instantly be sure if he really IS a red guy with horns. Maybe because, as we all know, that the Melvins have been to Hell and back (Brian Walsby drew him), they have indeed seen the guy -- and THIS is what he looks like! Also, note the position that his neck arises from... it could be a pretty damn long neck, sticking out of the collar of the man's shirt, all the way from inside... the ANUS! This could indeed be the Anal Satan... a proper reminder to eat a non-Satanic diet... like, of sacrificed baby-meat and stuff.

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