Since 1986, notorious Pacific Northwest spawn the Melvins have been slogging their distinctive metal/punk/noise/sludge mutation around the nation. So retro, yet so guileless is their approach, that the Melvins are virtually avant-garde a charmingly feisty train-wreck of Black Sabbath's doom-laden heaviness, and dalliances with the dissonance of the Stooges and Swans. Inspired by their appearance at the UK festival All Tomorrow's Parties wherein performers are asked to present an album of theirs in its entirety the Melvins have "redone" their 1993 album Houdini, though this go-'round was recorded for an invited audience in a warehouse in Vernon, California. The fine opus concludes with the thirteen-minute "Spread Eagle Beagle," a relentless exercise in Philip Glass- and trance-type minimalism, with an inexorable chain-gang-in-hell drum pattern and serrated sounds swelling and fading like nightmares and bad memories.
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