The Melvins are heavier than heavy metal. The group's monolithic Sabbath-sludge was the backbone of the Pacific Northwest music scene (i.e., grunge) in the early '90s and a notable precursor to the rise of doom, stoner and avant-garde metal. But after nearly two decades, during which the band has collaborated with everyone from Dead Kennedy's Jello Biafra (Never Breathe What You Can't See and Sieg Howdy!) to ambient artist Lustmord (Pigs of the Roman Empire), and even reworked their Kurt Cobain-produced magnum opus Houdini (Houdini Live 2005: A Live History of Gluttony and Lust), it didn't seem possible for the Melvins to turn it up past 11. Then King Buzzo and Dale Crover joined forces with the two-man army Big Business and unleashed (A) Senile Animal earlier this year. The hybrid drum assault, most notably on "The Hawk" and "You've Never Been Right," is an untamable beast that dominates the aural terrain. Plus, the addition of Jared Warren's wall of bass and near-constant vocal harmonies adds a completely new level of complexity and emotional girth. Perhaps these old dogs can learn new tricks after all.
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