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Stag is adulterated Melvins, which is a good thing. Yes, Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and their bass player of the moment (Mark Deutrom) still pound away to wake the devil. But the trademark metal chuggers frequently give way to surprisingly musical moments. Sitar, trombone, slide guitar, keyboards, and scratches soften the edges of the music. ”Lacrimosa” is ambient chopped apart by power chords. Despite its Satanic subject matter, ”Black Bock,” sounds less like Black Sabbath than the Archies Stag is most appealing when the Melvins betray their roots, and that’s about half the time. –Steven Stolder

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  • “Stag” marks the last major label Melvins release, following their two most accessible (and therefore popular) albums of the time, “Houdini” and “Stoner Witch”. Those two albums offered very sludgy, dirgy post-grunge type outings, all the time incorporating strong melody and solid structures. With “Stag” the band took a more experimental route, often throwing conventional song structures out of the window, leaving an album that is confusing, yet utterly compelling.

    The album starts with a bang, “The Bit” is classic Melvins, full of powerful riffs and contrasts between brooding eerie verses and huge choruses. The album then takes its experimental turn, as from “Hide” to “Cottonmouth” it is difficult to make out any songs with standard structuring. Examples of this include “The Bloat” which starts with some old school slide guitar, then strips down to a sumptuous melodic bass line and some rather contrasting angry vocals. “Black Bock” starts almost like a kindergarten song, but then erupts into a swirling psychedelic closing section, full of lush vocal harmonies and trippy guitars. “Buck Owens” is another confusing song, with twisting rhythm and timing changes, almost like the band is experimenting with a warped take on prog metal. Fans of the Melvins’ dirge will not be disappointed here, especially with “Goggles”, a thunderous snail-paced tour-de-force of Buzzo’s riffing.

    Overall if you like grunge/post-grunge/stoner stuff, this album should appeal to you. If you like your music with a deal of experimentation it will definitely be worth your time, but for others who want something a little more straight laced, you’ll be best to stick with the more accessible Melvins work, such as “Bullhead”, “Houdini” and “Stoner Witch”.

    Posted on March 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Don’t buy from an american seller on; they charge insane amounts of money! as you may notice! I don’t know why this important piece of the Melvins catalogue is currently unavailable in America, but you can get it at a reasonable price at — do it!

    Posted on March 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • i’ve never understood why some melvins fiends dont like this album. the melvins are obviously trying to expand and try out some new styles on this one, and i think it works perfectly well. it has none of the heaviness of gluey or bullhead and none of the twisted punk of stoner witch, but its still not going to appeal to anyone who still listens to the radio. yoko ono had it on her best of 1996 list, if thats an endorsement for you. definetly superior to honky.

    Posted on March 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The Melvins are one of the few bands to actually improve with the passage of time. With Stag, Buzzo and the boys alienated some of their die hard loyalists by opening up their sound from the slow, brutal, smart metal style they created into something much more grand and kaleidoscopic. This album features(at various points) sitar, coronet, ambient sound ditties, chipmunk styled vocals, and godforbid keyboards. They do all this without compromising any of their massive RAWK spirit. It is one of the most accesible Melvins records(there is something for everyone) and at the same time one of their oddest.Buy it today!

    Posted on March 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is probably the best album of Melvins’ fairly brief career as major label recording artists. The riffs are heavy, but bright and bouncy rather than mired in sludge, and the ‘experimental’ elements are always hitched to great hooks. ‘Bar-X the Rocking M’ has a killer trombone solo, ‘Skin Horse’ is both hilarious and oddly touching, and ‘Black Bock’ is probably the most surprising track in Melvins’ catalogue.

    Less radio-friendly than ‘Houdini’ or ‘Stoner Witch’, but not nearly so weird as some other reviewers think. If you want Melvins at their most adventurous, try the excellent ‘Honky’ — the next record they made after Atlantic dumped them for not selling as many records as Nirvana — or the legendary ‘Lysol’ (also known just as ‘Melvins’ — the one with the horserider on the front), the only full album featuring Joe Preston (Earth, Thrones). But there’s no Melvins record that’s not worth having.

    Posted on March 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now