American noise (then) trio Melvins were named after a grocery store supervisor who was despised by the band member who worked under him. Houdini was their fifth studio album, and the first on major label Atlantic (who dropped them 2 albums later). Championed by grunge Gods Nirvana, 'Houdini' was essentially the band's break-through album. Reissued for your pleasure on lovely gatefold vinyl.
2 reviews. Add your own review.
7/10 gbar Customer review, 20th January 2018
'Houdini' was my introduction to the Melvins, and I also feel that it is the perfect representation of the band's drawn-out and downtuned sludge metal sound. From the start, it's clear to see that Black Sabbath is a dominant influence, with Buzz Osborne's well-crafted riffs and Lori Black's low-end punch that doesn't pummel the listener too much unlike others. "Hooch" and "Night Goat" starts off the album with strong mid-tempo riffs and memorable vocal lines, while "Lizzy" and their cover of KISS's "Going Blind" showcases the band's melodic side. "Honey Bucket" is a downtuned riff attack with snarling vocals and rapid fire delivery. "Set Me Straight" features some infectious vocal lines and upbeat guitars that compensates its 2-minute length, while "Hag Me" sees the band unveil their doomier side with slow riffs and plodding pace. Many will question why "Spread Eagle Beagle" was put on the album since it's just 10 minutes of Kurt Cobain and Dale Crover randomly banging on some drum heads. While 'Houdini' is often seen as the start of Melvins' attempt to make accessible and mainstream-oriented albums, it still remains true to the band's quirky style.
9/10 Jack Customer review, 15th June 2016
This is the Melvins' first release on a major label and by listening to it you wouldn't realise it. The Melvins found themselves in the right place and the right time in '93, as record companies were desperately looking for the next big grunge band. Atlantic swept up the band, an odd move as really, none of their previous records were particularly "grunge", nor were they accessible for mainstream listeners. Questionable move or not, the result was the Cobain-produced Houdini, a monolithic sweep of huge riffs, grooves, vocal harmonies and eccentric experimentation.
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