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The Melvins

Houdini

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The Melvins

1993

Listening to The Melvins can be a lot like banging your head against a wall.  Although they practically invented sludge-metal, their unique brand of droning, often arrhythmic, pounding sludge is certainly an acquired taste to say the least.  But on 1993's Houdini, the band not only sounds pretty listenable throughout, but they actually lock into a pretty infectious groove and rhythm most of the time.  When everything comes together perfectly, like on the standout classic "Honey Bucket" the results are pretty fantastic.  Unfortunately The Melvins only manage to cook up some memorable/satisfying riffs on about half of the songs here, whilst the other half sounds like, well, The Melvins.  Demented, dingy, abrasive, and often frustrating, these are just some of the band's trademarks, but Houdini is the only album of theirs where they manage to sound good for the majority of a full album (not just for a song or two).  For The Melvins, such a compliment means Houdini is their finest hour.

8.0

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