Monday, March 21, 2016

Album Review: "Three Men and a Baby" by Mike and the Melvins

Three Men and a Baby
Let's go back twenty years in time.

Consider where and whom you were at that time. Bill Clinton was president and Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first lady.

Email was only known to serious nerds like myself. A national brand of tooth whitening cream was using the website on their commercials.

The Sega Saturn was dying its painful death. Sony had just joined the big boys in the video game world.

The United States military wasn't involved in another drawn out war, just the typical skirmishes that have dotted our history.

KSHE 95 was still playing the exact same music they play today. Myself, I was in my first apartment and working over 70 hours each week at two retail jobs just in order to pay my rent. My dreams of becoming a professional musician were dying.

Thankfully no one has tried releasing whatever tapes I made then onto an album now.

Mike and the Melvins
Well back in 1998, the Melvins acquired a friend who toured and recorded with them, Mike Kunka.

At some point during this tour, they found time to get into a studio and hash out an album.

Collaboration albums are always a big hit for me. Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed, Painkillers by Left Lane Cruiser and James Leg, and Seesaw by Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa are just a few of them that have tickled my fancy.

Mike Kulka is an unknown to me, but the Melvins I know. I liken the Melvins to Andy Kauffman.

It's art and you're going to get it or you're not, and typically, I do not.

This album though, something about it made me want to hear it. Like a lot of the Melvins' work, it sounds like an art project.

It rambles along without any strong identity. It's sludgy and distorted. The guitars have that early Swedish death metal sound.

Songwise, it's really just all over the place, but it flows so wonderfully between one idea and the next. Was this recording even ever made for a release?

I cannot say, but it's just brilliant. It's one of those things when everything on this album is wrong, but the music is oh so right.

It's lo-fi, heavy, and insane. Get this on vinyl.

Release: 4/1/16
Genre: ???
Label: Subpop Records

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