Thursday Thive: Houdini

Posted on February 6, 2014


Sludge, sludge, sludge, sludge. Tune it low, play it slow. Whilst thrash metal might get the thousands wet, it’s the slow filthy stuff that truly encapsulates everything that is wonderful about this genre. There aren’t many better exponents of the craft than Melvins, the trio from Washington, US. They’ve released about 90000 albums in the last 30 years (30!), with Houdini being my favourite as we stand. That will most likely change over the next few years, but right now its the best example of slow sludge and cool-as-fudge rock. Let’s thive.

5: ‘Hag Me’
None more sludge. ‘Hag Me’ is a slow burning mother, all chords left to ring and tense space. It’s difficult to imagine a song slower than this and that is fine by me. It sounds like a Brachiosaurus that has realised it is freakin’ huge and could probably stomp out all those pesky carnivores in the forest next door.

4: ‘Joan of Arc’
Oh, so much sludge. ‘Joan of Arc’ begins with the most metronomic of slow-paced palm muting. Once more the pace is slow, all be it a little more focused than ‘Hag Me’. This is the aftermath, when the Brachiosaurus has gathered its troops and decided to rule the world, by being total bastards. With added metal gang vocals.

3: ‘Goin’ Blind’
This is the highest a Kiss song is ever going to place on one of these lists. I’m pretty sure I’ll never pay any attention to the Kiss version either, but I guarantee this is better. Again it is all sludge, but this time with added sleaze. Sludge dripping in sleaze. It will always remind me of walking towards Beograd Beer Festival, crying aloud ‘I’m Ninety-threeeeee, you’re sixteeeeeeen’ to no-one in particular. Good times.

2: ‘Night Goat’
I have no idea what a Night Goat is, but ‘Night Goat’ is a cracking song. Distorted bass is my spirit animal, and the second track on the album is positively teeming with it. The simplest of bass riffs and the most focused of drumming, all embellished by some glorious wailing from Buzz. The anti-solos, or whatever you would refer to them as, in the chorus are loser-pissed on top of a mountain immense as well.

1: ‘Hooch’
Let’s not pee around any bushes. ‘Hooch’ is the best song on the album. It is the best possible opener for the album, drums, bass drums, palm muting, CHORUS. Holy moly the chorus is fun. The lyrics are all Dada-rhythmic poetry, little sense but fun to garble along to. It’s a superbly fun song to play as well. Melvins in a nutshell, if such a thing is possible. Simple, fun, heavy as sludge and ever-so-slightly confusing in the process. Now, everyone together, YOU SINK-A MY SWAN.

Posted in: Music, Thursday Thive