Newbie Doomer and the Road to Desertfest: Melvins

I put Melvins up next because I felt like I had heard of them back in the 90s when they collaborated with Kurt Cobane before they fired him as their producer.  Then I was curious as to why did they fire Kurt Cobane – the answer I got from the internet – “He was kinda all over the place”.  Sounds about right for that time period.  I myself was a little all over the place.  This was in my rock and grunge phase back then with Nirvana, Pearl Jam etc.  It was a time in my life that I was paying more attention to bands outside my comfort zone. 

Now usually when I am writing a post, I am focused on one song. But for the DesertFest bands, I’ve been scrolling through the songs on their latest albums to see which one may grab my attention the most.  I must admit I let the number of plays guide me somewhat into which ones may be more popular, but it doesn’t always determine which one is the most striking. I have to say in Melvin’s latest EP Bad Moon Rising I found some exciting delights. 

I started with the second track on the album first because it looked like it was the most listened to from this EP.  And it did not disappoint.  Never Say You’re Sorry starts with like a 15 second drone noise that moves into a driving guitar/drum groove that’s just downright the shiz.  The only thing I didn’t like is that they have a really high-pitched noise – I don’t know what to call it, that helps build the tension. It may be slightly overused.  I’m sure there is likely a name for it, and you all are probably turning your noses up at me being like, “Girl, you don’t know”.  You’re right, I don’t know what I don’t know.  But back to the music, I feel like when the additional guitars come in you could have just left it as that awesome drum and guitar part.  And then the vocals start, and they remind me of Black Sabbath type lyrics where they are chanting. And they get back to the great guitar groove that I just love.  This is a five-minute delighter that I would add to my playlist.  But I wanted to check out more.

I moved to Mr. Dog is Totally Right.  First of all I wasn’t sure if we were talking about this

Or this – and is he Mr Dog or just Dog….I digress.

This song is their 14-minute epic for this album.  Usually, I avoid the 14-minute epics because, well, I don’t have time for long songs that drone on forever.  Now I know that may sound like heresy to the Doom community, but this gal has a full-time job, a family, and a business on the side that I am trying to grow.  It’s more like “Hit me with your best shot…fire away” around here.  Quick and dirty and get it done is more the motto I have on most days. 

But in the name of art, I dedicated the 14 minutes of my life to this piece of Melvin’s, and it pays off.  The first part of the song is just drums starting with base and then sounds like a tom and then going to timpani drums.  Then you get the cultish backwards lyrics which are such a surprise.  It takes me to the images of the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom movie where the guy rips the beating heart out of the man’s chest.  This whole section is very theatrical in my opinion.

Then at the 1:40 mark it starts with the heavy riff that reminds me of a 007 movie but then moves into something more like a 70s classic. This section has heavy, distorted guitar riffs and pounding drums with a repetitive baseline.  You get more of the same for about the next 6 minutes.  The drums along with the guitar solo piques your interest and leaves you wondering where are we going now.  At 8 minutes we’re on to the new lyrics and the much more traditional bass, drums, and guitar riffs. From here to the end, I would call this one just okay. The last 2 minutes are to me, blah after such an amazing start to this theatrical music showcase. This is a decent riff but if I was going to use up two more minutes, I would use the heavier riff from earlier to drive it out to the end. But that is just me.  I’m a newbie doomer.  There are parts of this 14-minute piece of entertainment that I really enjoy and are really surprising.  Overall I give it a thumbs up and I am looking forward to seeing what they play for us in New York.  I feel like it will be a surprise and something that will be worth the wait to see. 

That’s all for this time.  Thanks for reading! 

Much Love – Newbie Doomer

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