The Melvins, the famed four-piece consisting of Buzz Osbourne, Dale Crover, Jared Wilson, and Coady Willis have influenced so many great bands covered on this site, and now the band is showcasing its own influences on new cover album called Everybody Loves Sausages. This 13-track disc is stuffed with guest musicians, not only past Melvins bassists Kevin Rutmanis and Trevor Dunn, but also Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys and Mark Arm of Mudhoney, to name a few. Everybody Loves Sausages officially is released tomorrow, but GrungeReport has the early scoop tonight.
The album begins with a version of Venom’s “Warhead”, which also features Neurosis’ Scott Kelly. It’s the type of attention-grabbing metal tune that you’d expect, and is dragging, heavy and boasts that nice garage rock quality. Next is a cover of Queen’s “[You’re My] Best Friend” with Caleb Benjamin of Tweak Bird. Musically, its electronic, video game-esque keyboard makes it cutesy and quaint. The guitar solo is pretty enigmatic, and stands out.
The “Black Betty” cover unabashedly rocks along at blistering speed, and is a brilliant, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. “Set It On Fire”, originally done by the Scientists, features Arm taking over the host of the vocal duties in this simplistic punk rock piece. The rendition of “Station to Station” by David Bowie, with J.G. Thirwell along for the ride, is hands down the lengthiest track on the album, but spends plenty of that time wisely setting up an atmospheric space of guitar feedback and noodling. Once the track finally gets underway, the main guitar riff is hypnotizing, as is the deep growl and drone of Osbourne’s voice.
Next up is a version of “Attitude”, originally done by the Kinks, and this time featuring Blondie’s Clem Burke. This is another punk track with an almost shoddy, grainy quality to further emphasis its credibility. It explodes through quickly and is a great throwback. In a change of pace comes “Female Trouble”, performed originally by Divine. This jazzy piece is bass and percussion heavy, with Osbourne’s voice affected and a faint growl through until the end.
“Carpe Diem”, a reimagining of the Fugs’ original, continues on the mostly lighthearted track, with feather-soft verses that play in fantastic contrast to the heavier portions that Osbourne contributes, and gloomy lyrics that offset the general upbeat nature of the song. Another heartbeat-quick moment is “Timothy Leary Lives”, originally performed by Pop-O-Pies. This punk tune blazes by in just two minutes.
Also a stunning standout is the lengthy powerhouse that is Roxy Music’s “In Every Dream Home a Heartache”, which features Rutmanis and Jello Biafra. Biafra’s sparse and distinct vocals add punchy emphasis against the mesmerizing keyboard strain. When the guitars cut in, this one really takes off, adding a whole new dimensional layer to its eerie beauty, eventually giving way to a spacey drone. A rendition of Tales of Terror’s “Romance” comes next, and is a grungy, fuzzy dirge.
“Art School”, originally done by the Jam but now featuring Halo of Flies’ Tom Hazelmyer with the Melvins, is pure and perfect punk. Hazelmyer’s accented voice adds a nice blend against Osbourne’s, and the blurry guitars are a highlight as well. The last cover, “Heathen Earth” by Throbbing Gristle, is very much industrial or techno-inspired, a complete instrumental that lurches slowly and infectiously to wrap up these 13 tracks.
Everybody Loves Sausages is a fun collection of favorites from the Melvins that will grow on you as well. The list of guest musicians both inside and outside of the band gives the album a compilation quality. The renditions are mostly note-perfect and don’t deviate a ton from the originals, but it’s still a treat to hear the legendary Melvins put its stamp on them.