Melvins, formed in 1983 in Montesano, Washington by singer/guitar player Buzz Osborne – with stalwart drummer Dale Crover joining the following year – is a hugely influential band that has been credited with merging the worlds of punk rock and heavy music and forming a new subgenre all its own. They’ve released over 30 original albums, numerous live full-lengths and countless singles and rarities. Over the course of their discography, they’ve partnered with Jello Biafra, Mudhoney, and Fantômas for individual releases and have toured the world many times over. The band’s current incarnation of Osborne, Crover, and Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) joined with Roy Mayorga (Ministry, Soulfly, Stone Sour and Nausea) for new album Tarantula Heart, which is like nothing the band has ever done. It’s probably the best record they’ve ever recorded, and certainly one of their weirdest. In the words of Osborne, “Tarantula Heart is a dark, gothic ride like no other.”

Osborne says the sessions, which were recorded, mixed and produced by long ime Melvins’ collaborator Toshi Kasai at The Sound of Sirens Studio in Los Angeles, were “different than any other Melvins’ album” in that the songs weren’t written before the band started recording. “I had Dale and Roy Mayorga come in and play [dual drumkits] along with Steven and I to some riffs,” he says, “then I took those sessions and figured out what parts would work and wrote new music to fit.” Mayorga calls it “one of the best recording experiences I’ve ever had. It started with Dale and I being super improvisational and coming up with drum parts off the cuff. We would go back-and-forth leading each other to whatever came next. We made several passes like this to create a foundation of different tempos, different colors and different textures, then Buzz wrote the craziest music to all these drum takes. Believe it or not the drum tracks are completely unedited!” The five-song, 39-minute album centers around the mammoth 19-minute opening track “Pain Equals Funny” and the noise-laden heavy hitter “Working the Ditch.” 

“The most amazing thing about Melvins is that they still manage to have something to say while still being as unique and interesting as they ever were.” – Metalsucks

“The balance of the album is a more cohesive experiment with noise – the busier sonic elements deftly wrangled into a more streamlined, albeit unmistakably Melvins take on a heavy rock sound… Dense and layered… damned enjoyable… I can’t help but grin at the cacophony that rings between my ears for the duration of the album.” – Everything Is Noise

“This many years on, Melvins are still finding new ways to display their venerable sludge.” – Ultimate Classic Rock

FCC Caution: Track 2, “Working the Ditch” says “goddamn.”

Label: Ipecac Recordings

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