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Melvins are a strange bunch, but they sure make some heavy ass music. This is the band at their peak, building off the first two records and in the process inspiring the Japanese drone metal band with the opening track "Boris". Who said a song needs more than two riffs?
This is my first Melvins album and the first thing that I will tell you about it is that it makes me want to buy more of their albums. This 8-track album first came out quite awhile ago, 1991 infact. I'll get the only bad aspect of this album out of the way first, you will have to turn your CD player up 2 or 3 notches than you usually do due to the production and recording, as it is not as crisp as modern recordings, but this adds to its charm and gives the album an almost live feel. The album is very consistent, every track is great.What strikes me most about the album is the technically impressive and exciting-to-the-ear guitar and drum work. Buzz Osbourne is a great guitarist who creates some punishing and downright spirit raising riffs and solos, and the drumming of Dale Crover is equally fantastic (the last track "Cow" ends with about a 3 minute drum solo-very impressive and entertaining). This is probably one of the best Melvins albums, they are an all-round great band who put practically all other Metal bands to shame and this album is one of the best ways to get into them. There are several points in this album that excite me so much that I want to jump through my window into the front garden (this is a compliment). Highly recommended.
Some preach about this being the Melv's best album, i can see why these people think that; very heavy, catchy, cool riffs, Melvins at the epitome of thier career. However, i disagree. I dion't think it's as accomplished as the releases off Atlantic or Ipecac. (Stoner Witch/Houdini/Stag/The Trilogy/H.A.T.) I prefer a bit of variation and eclecticity in my Melvins album and this one ends up all sounding the same even though it's only 30 mins long. It lacks the beefy guitars of their latter work and the riff's aren't as interesting. I'll probably get grilled for saying all this, but it's my opinion. Bullhead is damn heavy and a fine records but it dosen't match up to their later works. Boris/It's Shoved/Zodiac are brilliant tunes however and portray the Melvins ability at writing memorable and catchy songs. The rest of the album however, is a bit off; it sounds quite similar, like what happens with Gluey Porch Treatments after about 30 mins. If you ask me Stoner Witch is their best, Bullhead does come close but it just don't have the same zing as Stoner Witch. Buy if you like earlier Melvins stuff. Buy if you like the Melvins!, it's still good!
Arguably the best Melvins album, it is the best example of slow stoner metal there is. Painfully slow and bowel-bustingly heavy, Bullhead has some of the most inventive two note guitar riffs you will ever find. If you are curious about the Melvins, I recommend you try "Houdini" to test the water first and come back to this.
This is the only Melvins album i have and quite frankly the only one i care to know about. It is the least commercial yet consolidate outing before they signed to a major on the back of Nirvana's success, which may or may not have been a mistake. Only time will tell and time certainly rolls on as this was recorded 20yrs ago and still blows me away. Opener Boris is a pure slab of deathly downtuned dirge with Buzz Ozbournes vocals conjuring up all manner of disturbed thoughts and concerns. Its almost hardcore punk in reverse which really works here. Other highlights are Ligature, Its Shoved and the mind blowing Zodiac which sees them deliver some cool dynamics and speed shifts courtesy of Dale's amazing drumming that only augment their slow black crude hash oil of a sonic template. Indeed this is purist stoner rock that at times borrows from Black Flag and Sabbath before them but builds into possibly one of the most unique bands i have ever heard in my life. Song titles with the Melvins are of little importance really as this record has to be listened to in its entirety from start to finish, like one whole song if you will. Another moot point in question is Shirley Temple's daughter Lori 'Lomax' Black contributes bass guitar here as she was a member of the band up until this point on and off; and she does a splendid job in keeping their sound where it should be; slow dark and downright weird! But like i say, names or name checks are irrelevant with the Melvins as they are one of the few bands that march on their own merits and not the tune of some corporate entity trying to squeeze as much capital from them, which is probably what finished Cobain and co off. Sure they arguably went on to 'bigger and better' things with their Atlantic recordings, but for the purists, Bullhead is right where their sound should be and thats
One of the reviews below is mine, I wrote it when I was musically less "mature" and was just a little bit too enthusiastic. Firstly, I would just like to say this isn't a technical album and secondly not every song is great - Track 3 "Ligature" is merely quite good. However, the heaviness of "Boris," "Anaconda," "Zodiac," "Your Blessened," the spookiness of "If I had an Exorcism," and the all-time Rock classic "It's Shoved," does make this an excellent Heavy Grunge, Sludge Metal, Stoner Rock album. As I said before - Highly recommended.
Ok then, threaten to beat me up and burn down my house...just don't hurt the wife and cat! I know all the die hards say this is the best thing the melvins have done but quite frankly, it isn't. This album doesn't hold up, to me it sounds dated. The main problem is that there is not enough variety, which is what makes the melvins a great band, i know its all subjective and everyone has a favourite but for my hard earned folding "stoner witch" or "a senile animal" are much better albums. Oh, just to add salt to the wounds "boris" isn't their best song either.....what do i know.