Various We Reach: The Music of the Melvins

Ipecac’s Greg Werckman says it best about tribute records in his brief liner notes: "why would I want to hear some crappy band ruin a song by a band that I loved?” But he also nails it with, "if there is any artist that has never gotten the recognition they deserve, it’s the Melvins.” Unquestionably, the Melvins are one of the greatest, most influential (no Melvins = no Nirvana) and most unrecognised bands in music history. And, in tribute, Fractured Transmitter has assembled a number of "crappy” bands, such as the Dillinger Escape Plan, Pig Destroyer, Mastodon, Strapping Young Lad, Eyehategod and numerous others to pay homage. Being composed of aggressive artists, most of the songs covered are drawn from the Melvins’ metal/rock cannon, and while that’s only one facet of the Melvins (let’s not forgot their penchant for experimentation, pop, noise and pissing off everyone just because), considering those involved, it’s enough. Dillinger rip through the thunderous "Honeybucket,” adding computerised-like accents, an underlying guitar line and tightening things up, while Strapping Young Lad annihilate "Zodiac,” which is one of the few tracks to feature a vocalist not trying to do "the voice” (as there is only one Buzz), letting Devin truly go off at the end. Other standouts include Mastodon ("The Bit”), Meatjack ("Shevil”), Isis/Agoraphobic Nosebleed ("Boris”) and, oddly, Mare ("Nightgoat”), who truly capture the playful/jerkiness of the Melvins with a drum, vocal track that’ll piss off everyone tuning in for the big metal names. Nicely done. (Fractured Transmitter)