The Melvins, I thought, were a metal band. Two things really made me change my mind on that synopsis: first off, the album that Jello Biafra did with these guys, and secondly, this album. “Mangled Demos From 1983” might be from over twenty years ago, but the re-vamped sound of this album (long found as a bootleg) makes the intensity of The Melvins almost as if they were playing for their next meal. This may actually be the case, but the fact is here that tracks like “Symbol” sound polished and ready for “Headbanger’s Ball”. The extremely short track length (about 75 seconds a song) may turn some listeners off, but this is a brilliant move on the part of The Melvins – this means that there is virtually no chance that individuals will get tired with the music captured on the disc. Lead vocalist Buzz really has the Dave Mustaine growl going on for him at a time when Megadeth was just starting; I wonder if the Melvins and Mustaine crossed paths at all during their formative periods? Tracks like “Run Around” really seem to be one of the largest influences on Tim Armstrong; the guitar work present on that track plus the track’s tempo really seem like a rough blueprint for what would later become one of the biggest bastions of mall punk. The Melvins sat on a classic for over twenty years; to air it out now will have serious repercussions as new fans will see an intensity that is unmatched.
Top Tracks: Symbol, I Don’t Know
The Melvins – Mangled Demos From 1983 / 2005 Ipecac / http://www.themelvins.net / http://www.ipecac.com / Reviewed 12 June 2005