'Melvinmania' is a curious addition to the band's discography because Atlantic have shown little to no interest in the Melvins since dropping the band in 1996, so the reasons for this compilation appearing now are fairly confusing. Maybe it's to commemorate ten years since the Melvins signed to Atlantic, I'm not sure, but anyhow, that's not entirely important.
The Melvins have always been fairly inaccessible to many music fans by a)Having such a huge selection of work available and b)Having a tendancy to fill half of their records with alt. rock classics and half with noisy experimentation. Fortunately, especailly for newcomers, this compilation eschews much of the experimentation of the band that didn't work (such tracks as 'Tipping The Lion' and 'Pearl Bomb' display some noodling that worked extremely well), to showcase a more accessible selection of Melvins tracks.
Album opener 'Hooch' is still a live Melvins favourite featuring a riff that grows and grows on you and phonetic lyrics that are just that little bit off-centre as well as Dale Crover's extremely hard-hitting drum work and a chorus to die for, while 'Lizzy' showcases a much quieter, brooding Melvins and creates an atmosphere of paranoia. 'Honey Bucket', 'Queen', 'Revolve', 'Sweet Willy Rollbar' and 'The Bit' are all hair flinging classics that still float around the band's live sets and the rest are the band's more commercial experminets such as 'Bar-x the rocking M' and it's use of ska style brass instruments behind the heaviness.
In short, 'Melvinmania' is about as perfect a taster of the bands most commercial work that you're probably ever likely to get. It's low priced and gives you an insight into one of the most influential bands of the last couple of decades so even if you're curious, this compilation is well worth picking up, and for the Melvins fan who has everything: the three videos make for an entertaining watch, although why Atlantic didn't also include the videos for 'Hooch' and 'Queen' I don't know. In any case, this is well worth buying but for someone who owns all these albums already the only thing new for you will be the videos. Are they worth buying this for? I thought so...