- Written by brian
Dale Crover's new album, Rat-A-Tat-Tat!, arrives Jan. 15 via Joyful Noise Recordings! Pre-orders, including limited edition vinyl variants, are available now via Joyful Noise. The VIP version from Joyful Noise even includes a bonus flexi with a song not included on the album. Dale has also premiered the video for I Can't Help You There from the album via Flood Magazine. Dale had this to say about the video: “I enlisted Toshi Kasai and Alicia DiGiovanni to help direct, film and edit. I gave them the basic ideas I had and they ran with them,” Crover shares before citing a handful of other visual reference points. “Inspiration came from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Cramps’ 1978 performance at Napa State Mental Hospital, and the creepy face mask of LA Dodger Kiké Hernández.”
Rat-A-Tat-Tat! Is that the sound of the reaper knocking on your door to collect your soul -- or Dale Crover hammering out another distinctive drum fill?
There are pretty good odds it’s the latter; between 36 years (and about as many full-lengths and EPs) as drummer/bassist for the Melvins and his contributions to acts as varied as Altamont, Peeping Tom, Redd Kross, Shrinebuilder, and a little band called Nirvana, he’s built quite the body of work. In 2017, he added a proper solo album to his extensive catalog, The Fickle Finger of Fate. Now he’s followed that with Rat-A-Tat-Tat!
Crover takes the solo thing seriously: he wrote the album while on the road and provided vocals, drums, guitars, vibraphone, and miscellaneous percussion. Just like the last album, recording took place over at Toshi Kasai’s Sound of Sirens Studio in beautiful Sun Valley, CA. Kasai recorded and mixed it again, as well as co-producing it with Crover under the sobriquet Deaf Nephews. Celebrated graphic designer (and regular Melvins cover artist) Mackie Osborne created the striking album art, just as she did for The Fickle Finger of Fate.
So what’s different this time around? Crover assembled an actual band to help him out. Redd Kross bassist Steve McDonald asked Crover to open for Redd Kross, Crover asked McDonald to play bass for him, and the rest is history. It’d be difficult for even the multi-talented Crover to put on a live show by himself without one of those one-man-band contraptions. In addition to McDonald, Kasai (ex-Big Business, Plan D) helps with keyboards, synths, jawharp, and backing vocals. Mindee Jorgensen (Dangerously Sleazy) sits behind the kit live and contributes additional drumming and some sweet saxophone skills here. His former Altamont bandmate Dan Southwick plays bass on “Tougher,” a track Crover cowrote with Kasai.
Some pieces of the songs may sound familiar to the 127 completists who grabbed the limited-run lathe cut record Piso Mojado, a collection of experimental drum weirdness. Although insanity certainly abounds on Rat-a-Tat-Tat!, there are also some surprisingly poppy moments. Crover claims “Shark Like Overbite” may be the poppiest song he’s ever written. It’s also the puppiest: it was inspired by the three dogs he’s had over the years. A few tunes (“I Can’t Help You There,” “Kiss Proof World”) harken back to his Pacific Northwest lineage. That said, “Tougher,” “Supine is How I Found Him,” and “New Pharaoh” careen right off the dial. It’s an eclectic mix, one that draws on song fragments he’s had for years. It still feels cohesive and uniquely Dale Crover.
But then, who would expect anything other than the unexpected? The opportunity knocks to hear more Dale Crover jams; be sure to answer.
Rat-A-Tat-Tat! track listing:
- I Can't Help You There
- Shark Like Overbite
- Supine Is How I Found Him
- I'll Never Say
- New Pharaoh
- Untrue Crime
- The Bowie Mix
- Piso Mojado
- Kiss Proof World
Dale and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden/Pearl Jam were recently featured in Modern Drummer magazine if you're a subscriber check it out!
Dale was a guest on the New York venue Saint Vitus' podcast Age of Quarantine which was hosted by Christopher Enriquez of Spotlights.
Dale was also a guest on episode 155 of Conan Neutron's podcast Protonic Reversal.
- Written by brian
AmRep has announced they'll be releasing Mullet, a Melvins 1983 EP in the upcoming weeks! The EP will be released on 3 different limited edition vinyl variants as well as CD on SHOXOP. Bifocal Media also has a schnazzy long sleeve t-shirt with HAZE XXL's artwork on it. For those that aren't aware, Melvins 1983 consists of Buzz, Dale on bass guitar, and the original Melvins drummer Mike Dillard. Check out the track Bouncing Rick from the EP below!
"It has a 403 4bbl V8, Cragers and a Pioneer cassette deck...Er wait. It's actually a Melvins 1983 10" and she's chuggin' her way down a backwoods dirt road to you! It's like Bullitt, except the star of this early-80's B-movie is a sleazebag who can't drive for shit and spends his time stoned at a Dairy Queen, hitting on teenage girls...MULLET."
Mullet EP Track listing:
- Fuck Around
- Bouncing Rick
- Caddy Daddy
- Horse Faced Goon
Melvins 1983 Mullet EP via Amphetamine Reptile Records, artwork by HAZE XXL
- Written by brian
AmRep has recently announced they are releasing for the first time on one slab of wax the compiled b-sides from the Hostile Ambient Takeover 7"s that Ipecac released back in 2003. The release gets a fancy HAZEXXL update on the original Halloween mask artwork. There will be limited variant art editions, as well as a factory version picture disc and of course a cheapie CD, available as always from SHOXOP. Bifocal Media has also put together both a hoodie and a couple t-shirts featuring Haze's artwork.
Flashback to 2002, when Ipecac Recordings released a Melvins studio album called Hostile Ambient Takeover. The following year, they issued a series of 7" singles with the A-side from that record, but the B-side was an exclusive track of the Melvins take on various cover songs. Since then, people have wondered, "Yo Goober, is there gonna be a follow up LP with the B-'s?" It only took 17 years to answer that question, but yes, yes there is & it's called Hostile Ambient Besides.
The cover is designed by our very own HAZE XXL keeping up with the cheapo plastic mask theme of the singles with his take on the whole Nutty Mad/Weird-Ohs genre.
Melvins Hostile Ambient Besides via Amphetamine Reptile Records, artwork by HAZE XXL
Hostile Ambient Besides tracks:
Jerkin Krokus (Mott the Hoople)
Promise Me (The Gun Club)
Arny (Warlock Pinchers)
Return of the Spiders (Alice Cooper)
White Punks on Dope (The Tubes)
Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World (Ramones)
Buzz recently interviewed Rob Halford of Judas Priest for Revolver Magazine. Buzz is a big Judas Priest fan, they discussed Rob's new book Confess.
- Written by brian
Today is the official release date of Gift Of Sacrifice, the new solo album from King Buzzo w/ Trevor Dunn via Ipecac Records! The album is available on vinyl, CD, and digitally from Bandcamp. The limited edition pink vinyl is already sold out. Buzz had this to say about the album via distortion-magazine.com: "“Gift Of Sacrifice” is a lot more produced. We spent a lot more time on making synthesizer sounds, modular-synth stuff and noise-stuff. We didn’t do it on the first one. So we spent a lot of time on that. A lot more then people might think. And just see the addition of the bass. Stand up bass changed the dynamics of the album in a way I couldn’t even dream of. But in a way, I’m extremely happy about. Trevor Dunn is a fantastic player. I had the songs! Most of them were recorded already. And he just added bass to after the fact. So the only thing I told him to do is “to overplay”. As much as he can on these. With the idea that he’s probably not going to overplay. But he’s gonna feel that he’s free to do whatever he wants. And that’s kind of how I wanted it do go."
Spin has an article about the new album: “What we do as artists is try to provide the people of the world with something they don’t get in their normal lives,” Osborne says. “That’s my whole entire existence. That’s what I do. And I charge into that with way more enthusiasm and way more gusto than I would for a 40-hour-a-week job.” - Buzz
Buzz was recently a guest on Spectrum Culture's podcast Enjoy Your Life, they talked about golf, dogs, and guitars amongst other things.
Episode 195 of Conan Neutron's Protonic Reversal features both Buzz and Trevor, they of course discuss their new collaboration Gift Of Sacrifice in detail.
Buzz continued to make the podcast rounds with an appearance on Consequence of Sound's podcast. "Buzz Osborne gives Kyle Meredith a call about Gift of Sacrifice, his new King Buzzo album with oft-collaborator Trevor Dunn. The Melvins frontman talks about working with an acoustic bass, a modular synth, and his ever-growing alternate tunings. Osborne also discusses the ever-looming influence of Miles Davis on his writing, how The Melvins continue to be underestimated, dealing with bad criticism. Towards the end, he dives deep into his philosophies on science, evolution, and religion."
- Written by brian
Amphetamine Reptile Records has announced White Lazy Boy, a new four song Melvins / Mudhoney collaboration EP. They'll be releasing this on both limited edition and a larger factor printed run of vinyl as well as CD. Head on over to shoxop.com, CD's on sale June 8, limited vinyl July 5th. The EP features Buzz, Dale, and Steven along with Mark Arm and Steve Turner of Mudhoney. The collaboration was hinted at back in back in March, the EP includes two originals plus covers of Black Flag's "My War" and Neil Young/Crazy Horse's "Drive Back". Brooklyn Vegan has a blog post detailing the new release along with streaming options. You can also get the t-shirt with HAZE XXL's artwork from Bifocal Media.
From Amrep: "Well, well. It looks like we've got some new material here that we're pretty excited about. (The) Melvins have a new 4-track album & what's this, Mudhoney is joining them too? Artwork by HAZE XXL with none other than Mr. Hughes in the prime of his life. No doubt living the life in the Desert Inn, trying to think of a movie better than Ice Station Zebra. Bet you're now trying to think of one too. Guess what buster, you can't! That thing is a @*%&#-ing masterpiece! And say what you will about Howard, but he was saving his urine in jars WAY before it was cool."
- My War
- Walking Crazy
- Ten Minute Visitation
- Drive Back
Dale put out Piso Mojado, a really cool lathe cut recorded on Joyful Noise recordings, it sold out in a very short period of time to their V.I.P. members, but they put up a trailer detailing the release. "The custom lathe-cut design features four distinct spindle-holes, and five corresponding songs. Each record is hand-made, and extremely limited."
Buzz did a video chat with Chris Enriquez of Spotlights for Revolver Mag and Saint Vitus Bar. It's worth a watch, he mentions that along with the new Mudhoney collab, they also have a collaboration with Helms Alee in the works, and a new Melvins 1983 release. He also said that AmRep will be releasing a vinyl of all the B-sides from the Hostile Ambient Takeover 7"s sometime soon.
Lydia Lunch has a podcast called The Lydian Spin and she recently chatted with Buzz.
Bass Magazine has a lockdown check-in article with Steven
American Songwriter talked to Buzz about his new solo album Gift of Sacrifice as well as the new collaboration with Mudhoney
- Written by brian
Amphetamine Reptile Records has announced that they'll be reissuing Electroretard on 3 different limited edition vinyl variants as well as CD. This album was originally released on Frank Kozik's Man's Ruin Records back in 2001. The reissue gets updated artwork by HAZE XXL. Head over to shoxop.com for the goods, the plan is a May 17th on-sale date. Bifocal Media is also going to be selling a limited edition t-shirt featuring Haze's new artwork. Tom Hazelmeyer was also recently interviewed on The Vinyl Guide podcast, he gives a lot of details on the limited run Melvins vinyl that he designs the art for and releases on his Amphetamine Reptile.
From AmRep: "When Electroretard came out on Man's Ruin in 2001 on CD, the original intent was a vinyl LP later on, but the label folded that year before it could happen. Flash forward nearly 2 decades & it became clear that this would be a perfect project for AmRep to reissue in that limited edition, fancy schmantz way of how we likes to do (not to mention, getting that shitty 2012 boot taste out of everyone's mouth.) The cover is designed by our very own HAZE XXL with really no connection to the original artwork. You could even say, he went bananas with it. Get it? Cause of the monkey. Ah, screw you, that joke is pure freakin' gold."
Dale created a playlist on Apple Music: Dale Crover's Vaccination For The Pandemic Blues - "Take a deep breath and don't freak out! All you have to do is stay home and keep your hands clean. Doctor's orders! But what to do for the isolation, the boredom? Dr. Crover is here with the cure! Listen to my playlist and call me in the morning" - Dale Crover
Buzz also created his own playlist on Apple Music: King Buzzo's Apocalypse No
Metal Insider has a new interview with Dale, he has this advice for all those in COVID-19 isolation: “I’d say now is a good time to listen to every Melvins record ever. By the time you’re done this should be all over.”
For all those missing live MELVINS, Alabama Public Television's posted the full set from their October 2019 performance at Saturn in Birmingham, AL; watch it below.