Sound — 9
This record is one of the heaviest, and most hate-filled records of all time. It came out during the heyday of "grunge" started, thanks to ex-Melvins roadie/worshipper Kurt Cobain. This is really not just, or at all, a "grunge" record. It's one of those heavy, but slow songs that makes the listener want to kill everything in sight. The closest band/s I would relate this to is Black Sabbath, or Black Flag, pretty much a mix between both of them. Which is exactly what the Melvins were looking for. Buzz Osbourne's guitar playing is heavy and simple, but you can really feel the anger he puts into the instrument.When the music is at it's best (meaning really, really loud), the guitar just smashes into you. Very rarely, when the guitar is quiet, it sounds creepy and haunting, like in the third track, Lizzy. To me, this album is really guitar driven, unlike a Melvins show which is equally driven, except for sometime the drums. Dale Crover's drumming isn't as impressive to me, I know some who say it's one of the best they've heard though. I must say Buzz and Dale have great timing together. The bass.. there's not much to say about the bass since they didn't have a fulltime drummer throughout the album (I believe there were three? According to Allmusic.com). But the bass does fit in in songs like Night Goat. They also have some weird stuff on here. The song "Sky Pup" is just weird, jazzy at some points, then a strange voice singing over, probably Buzz himself. Then there's Pearl Bomb, which is a bass and what sounds like a stapler over it. The last track, and last "noise" they make is Spread Eagle Beagle, an odd "drum solo" that lasts more than ten minutes.
Lyrics — 7
You hardly ever listen to the lyrics because the instruments take over the whole album. The only song on here that anyone can really sing along to is their Kiss cover, Going Blind. None of the lyrics really seem to make sense, or have an obvious point, probably what happens when you smoke weed every single day. The lyrics do fit the music, singing at the perfect times and all that. Buzz Osbourne's voice is also a perfect match for the music. never really shouting, in many of the songs he'sust talking loudly and slowly.
Overall Impression — 10
Compared to other album that came out at the same time, it's nothing like them. The Melvins were a strange, but great, part of the "Seattle Sound", even though they relocated to San Francisco. I love the heaviness of this album, I haven't heard many other albums with the same amount of, well, heaviness as this. If it were lost, I'd be pissed because it's so hard to find at record stores. If I found it again I'd buy it. Houdini by the Melvins is one of my favorite albums of all time, but I'm sure tons of reviews say that about bands. If you're looking into something heavy and moderatly haunting that's not Metallica or some crappy death metal band, check out the Melvins. If you're into Nirvana or other similar bands, check out the Melvins. If you hate every other band you've ever heard, check out the Melvins, they know how you feel.