by Melvins
5.0 3


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To essay a concise, surefooted summation of the Melvins' catalog would be reductive at best, and laughable at worst. This is, of course, underground rock's trio of pranksters -- unpredictable and capable of complete musical about-faces in the turn of a measure. That said, Houdini is about as close as one gets to a representative Melvins album, and it vividly captures the band's unreconstructed power, vision, and musical strangeness. During the early-'90s purge of hair rock and candy-footed funk metal, the Melvins, as with many other acts, seemed fair game for a major label in search of another post-Nirvana gold mine. With Kurt Cobain's assistance, the band was snatched up -- and summarily dropped (after three brilliant albums, this being the first) -- by Atlantic. Though Houdini's immediate predecessors, Eggnog and Bullhead, pried open a few screwball chasms in the Melvins' syrupy distillation of Sabbath riffage and Flipper's noisy anti-punk, it was this album that displayed the full fruition of the outfit's sonic breadth, from the cough-syrup river drag of "Night Goat" to the revved-up "Honey Bucket," and from the creepy "Joan of Arc" to the glue-damaged "Sky Pup." Ringleader King Buzzo's riffs are stretched -- taffy-like -- to meltdown, and at other times they are razor sharp. Either way, they abound with a lumbering, lurching power. With their voluminous output and determination to continuously expand their sound regardless of musical trends, the Melvins oeuvre has begun to rival -- at least on paper -- the career arcs of Frank Zappa and Neil Young.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/21/1993
Label: Atlantic
UPC: 0075678253225
catalogNumber: 82532
Rank: 3870

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Melvins   Primary Artist
Robert C. Smith   Percussion
Dale Crover   Drums,Vocals
King Buzzo   Guitar,Vocals
Bill Bartell   Bass
Kurt Cobain   Guitar,Percussion
Billy Anderson   Bass
Mike Supple   Percussion
Lori "Lorax" Black   Bass

Technical Credits

Melvins   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Kurt Cobain   Producer
Garth Richardson   Producer
Billy Anderson   Engineer
Jonathan Burnside   Engineer
Barrett Jones   Engineer
Frank Kozik   Artwork,Art Direction
Valérie Wagner   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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Houdini 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Low riffs that got me totally hooked. I think these guys are pretty angry about something.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Driving the tomb stone. Brick mason style, as in crushing your skull, heavy, heavy, heavy. Heavy is a good word. Also .... .we could say.........heavanos shitanos.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago