Release DetailsLABEL Ipecac Recordings
RELEASED ON 5/16/2006
Houdini Live 2005: A Live History of Gluttony and Lust
posted on 4/2006 By:
As a longhaired, greasy teenager I grasped the Melvin’s Houdini with feverish hands, like it was a secret passage of the Bible intended specifically for the sons of atheist parents. Kurt Cobain’s legend spoke of his involvement with this record and seeing how I worshipped In Utero at the time, my curiosity got the better of me and I went out and bought Houdini completely blind. The sludge hit me like a tub full of shit and I sat there trying to digest the whole album at once. What the HELL was this stuff?
Thirteen years later and I am still stunned. I am still wondering what the HELL this stuff really is, and my weekly visits just haven’t been enough to firmly grasp the sonic intensity in as satisfyingly a fashion as I would wish. “Night Goat” is my midnight anthem, the song I play when I am feeling bloodthirsty. “Honey Bucket” is mayhem personified by a sludge band on a thrash marathon of Anthrax and slasher flicks. “Going Blind” remains one of my favorite songs of all time. Houdini wipes the floor with any and all modern sludge would-be challengers who, shit-faced with JD in hand, continue to pay homage to an album that surpassed genre limitations to ascend an honored position relegated to only the most original and unique bands in music recording history.
Prolific and timeless as they are, the Melvins continue to play and record in one form or another, and Houdini Live 2005 is a result of that insistence. Thank god (or whomever you desire) for that, because this is one hell of a live recording, capturing an intensity and passion rarely heard. Those expecting a note for note replication of Houdini are not exactly in for a shock, but they will certainly be surprised, because the Melvins take a liberal approach to performing their classic live. Certain passages are extended or cut and played with for the sake of live energy, and if you lie down and take all of this in as an experience you’ll certainly “get it” and the off-the-cuff flow will make perfect sense. As should be expected, Osbourne sets the record ablaze with a serious amount of ballsy riffage and Crover proves he was born on another planet, one where drumming is not a developed skill but an essential element in mother’s milk. “Sky Pup” takes on an even trippier vibe and “Teet” will have you in a psychotic fit, throwing your arms in the air and bobbing your head to Crover’s fills.
The quake this recording will release upon the earth will be felt by all, especially those who A) weren’t blessed by the power of Houdini in ’93 or B) didn’t hear any of this performed live in Europe in ’05. While the Melvins continue to forge ahead with weird, unprecedented ideas like performing live with two drummers, the legacy that has become Houdini similarly continues to live a life all its own, now recorded live for your personal pleasure. If you’re a Melvins diehard, pick this up. If you don’t own Houdini, you might want to think about picking this up first, because the quality of the recording is much more visceral and in-your-face in respect to potential sound decibel. Anyone in between probably doesn’t exist, because if you own Houdini, you best be a Melvins diehard.
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