Tag Archives: Alternative

The Melvins Cover Venom, Bowie and Queen On “Everybody Loves Sausages”

24 Apr

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Everybody might not love sausages, but everyone definitely loves the Melvins.

DJ Cherrybomb

On Tuesday, the Melvins started streaming their new record online, Everybody Loves Sausages. From start to finish, the band brings it’s A-game to the album’s menagerie of metal, alt, pop and classic rock cover tracks. Sausages kicks off with a snarling homage to Venom, thanks to Scott Kelly of Neurosis on vocals, and the track “Warheadfrom Venom’s 1984 album, At War With Satan. The record then continues on it’s noisy upward spiral with classic covers from Queen, an indulgent 11+ minute cover of Bowie’sStation to Station” with J.G. Thirwell of Foetus on vocals, and 1979 Kinks track, “Attitude“. When it comes to Attitude, the Melvins simply own it. Much like Johnny Cash did when he covered the likes of Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails.

Other non-Melvin members appearing on Sausages include Mark Arm of Mudhoney, who supplied the vocals for “Set it on Fire” from Aussie band Scientists, and Jello Biafra on the track “In Every Dream Home a Heartache“, originally done by Roxy Music. Obscurity proves to be the Melvins’ friend when they take on early 80’s Sacramento band, Tales of Terror. The band only put out one self-titled record in 1984, but their crunchy, junkie business brand of raunch & roll lives on in future sounds from Green River and Nirvana.

As we keep rolling along the obscure/bizarre musical train track with the Melvins, we arrive at the year 1974, and the bands cover of “Female Trouble” by Divine. According to Buzzo, John Waters has always been a huge influence for the band. Recorded on Christmas day in 2011, Buzzo sounds more like fellow weirdo Tom Waits than himself. Which only elevates the heavy darkness of the three-minute track. Sausages is a record as diverse as it is divey, loud and fuzzy.

Also included in the online album stream is some great commentary by the king of metal and hair, King Buzzo himself. Listen and read along as Buzzo talks you the through each track over at Spin. The band’s 30th anniversary summer tour kicks off on July 12th in Phoenix.

Full track listing follows.

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 a.k.a. 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 Down And Out Gospel According To Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Push The Sky Away

23 Feb

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“Well, if I were to use that threadbare metaphor of albums being like children, then Push The Sky Away is the ghost-baby in the incubator and Warren’s loops are its tiny, trembling heart-beat.”

– Nick Cave on his latest record with the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away.

Like a stalker seeking new blood on the boulevard, I am completely obsessed with the new Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s record, Push the Sky Away. It’s also possible that at the age of 55, Nick Cave’s 15th record (over the course of almost 30 years with the Bad Seeds), is perhaps his best work – a statement that could be considered blasphemous when considering Cave’s massive body of work. But it’s also a word Cave himself might use if you were to ask him if he ever made a bad record. Cave’s combined discography with the Bad Seeds, and the stellar project, Grinderman, have produced some of my favorite albums over the last five+ years.

As always, Cave brings his best love-sick-psychopathic-preacher-storytelling to Away, accompanied by the aforementioned, ever-present heart beat of the record, long-time Cave collaborator, guitarist Warren Ellis. Ellis helps keeps Cave’s derelict musings about hookers with hearts of gold, mermaid snatches, and rebirth, direct and hauntingly intertwined throughout the record. According to Cave, Away was inspired by his recent exploration of, all things, the Internet. In that recent interview with The Sun, Cave said that the only things he ever learned were while he was in school, while his twin boys  (now 12), “have much more interesting minds [than he did at the same age] because of the Internet.”

Away was conceived in a remarkably short period of time, only three weeks. From beginning to end, the record seems like a soundtrack to an out-of-body experience. A dream about people and places you’ve never met or been to, but can see clearly through Cave’s lyrical tapestry, whether you want to or not. Perhaps the best example of this musical imagery is the soaring track “Jubilee Street”. The song weaves a story about a man who falls in love with a prostitute. The song builds and rises with slow, sexually-charged intention. A musical style that, over the years, Cave has developed to unnerving perfection. Push the Sky Away is an indulgent treat, expertly crafted with love and malice. A “must listen” from start to finish in order to truly appreciate it’s darkly beautiful message.

Last Gasp: Mark Lanegan’s 2012 Christmas Record ‘Dark Mark Does Christmas’

2 Jan

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Yes, I know it’s a bit late for a Christmas post, but as big of a fan of ex-Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan as I am, I was completely unaware that Lanegan had put out a Christmas record last year. Since leaving the Screaming Trees, Lanegan has been prolific when it comes to expanding his catalog, both as a solo artist, as well as his various collaborations with artists like Queens of the Stone Age, Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs), and Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian). He’s also been tapped to provide the vocals on the highly anticipated Mad Season record, the recently reformed Seattle grunge super group formerly fronted by Layne Stayley of Alice In Chains. And, of all the great music that came out in 2012, Lanegan’s brilliant ‘Blues Funeral‘, was by far my favorite record.

Unfortunately, Dark Mark is only available at Lanegan’s live shows. But you’re not quite ready to let go of your Christmas whiskey or spirit (like me), you can listen to all six tracks from ‘Dark Mark Does Christmas 2012’, here.