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The Melvins – Mangled Demos From 1983 (2005)

The Melvins – Mangled Demos From 1983
CD released in 2005 by Ipecac Recordings.

The Melvins. A band with near-legendary status. What can really be said about them without mentioning their ties to Kurt Cobain or their recent work with Jello Biafra? Well, what am I saying. I’m no historian, so all I can do is review this album.

According to the liner notes, these demos were recorded in a shithouse studio by a couple of ex-hippies who kept complaining that their amps were too loud. On drums was Mike Dillard, making this the only recording with the original lineup. The first two tracks are live recordings for the ELKS Lodge Christmas Broadcast. Yes, you get to hear some old public radio guys saying that the Melvins were about to play music that would “clear the sinuses.”

The rest of the album is full of loud, fast, snotty hardcore punk. Yes, this was far before the Melvins took on their Sabbath-style, sludgy metal. While that style is apparent in songs like “Matt-Alec” and “Set Me Straight,” most other songs were fast and closer to Minor Threat or Black Flag.

That’s it, basically. Two radio songs, ten well-produced tracks, and then ten more seemingly self-recorded tracks. Well, actually, “Bibulous Confabulation During Rehearsal” is just five minutes of the band screwing around.

While the ten well-produced tracks could have been the first Melvins full-length album released, the ten or so self-recorded songs could easily be from any random trashy punk band. All of the material here is worth hearing and wonderful. In my opinion, at least. It’s always hard to review albums like this in my opinion. Overall, it gets an 8, though I would have given the 10 well-produced tracks at least a 9 if they had been released alone. Whatever. More bang for your buck.

This album is a necessary purchase for any fan of the Melvins, and definitely needs to be checked out by anyone who digs on gritty, early hardcore punk.


Well… it’s a long time ago now that this here little record was recorded. It NEVER was released. This recording is the only document of the original line up of the Melvins. It’s from 1983 or so. Mangled demos from 1983. It was a long time ago and you really can’t expect me to keep all of this bullshit straight. If you want straight facts, too bad… All of these fish stories and hogwash pour out from somewhere in the back of my brain and believe it or not sometimes it pours out askew.

-Buzz Osborne


01. Elks Lodge Christmas Broadcast
02. If You Get Bored (Live)
03. Forgotten Principles
04. Snake Appeal
05. Untitled (Flower)
06. If You Get Bored
07. Set Me Straight
08. Untitled (Communist star)
09. I’m Dry
10. Forgotten Principles
11. I Don’t Know
12. Matt-Alec
13. The Real You
14. Run Around
15. Keep Away From Me
16. Untitled (Clover) – 1:00
17. Bibulous Confabulation During Rehearsal
18. Untitled (Iron cross)
19. Untitled (Pencil)
20. Matt-Alec
21. Walter
22. Untitled (Broken scissors)
23. Untitled (Airplane)

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Big thanks to the original poster

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June 5, 2008 Posted by | Music_Alternative, Music_Punk, The Melvins, _MUSIC | Leave a comment