Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 7:00 AM
Three Men and a Baby is the new album by Mike and the Melvins. It was supposed to come out sixteen years ago.
These are the facts we can be sure of: in 1998, around the time his band godheadSilo went on hiatus, bassist/vocalist Mike Kunka busied himself by tagging along on a tour with his friends the Melvins. Somewhere along the way, Mike and the Melvins – King Buzzo (guitar/bass/vocals), Dale Crover (drums/vocals), and Kevin Rutmanis (bass/vocals), at the time – decided to make a record together, and gave the project the imaginative moniker Mike and the Melvins. Sub Pop, ever on the hunt for music’s Next Big Thing, enthusiastically agreed to fund and release the super-group’s debut, and recording commenced sometime in 1999.
It’s at this point that things get hazy. Apparently, one or more of the following happened:
· Some “junior-high level bullshit.”
· A house was built, a barn was raised, children were born.
· Typical record-label skullduggery.
· A scorching case of whooping cough.
· Surgery. Lots of surgery.
· Shocking and poorly-timed gear theft.
· Some other stuff, probably, or maybe not.
Whatever the reasons, the incomplete recording languished on a shelf from 1999 until 2015, when, much to everyone’s surprise, the involved parties reconvened, finished the damn thing, and delivered it post-haste to Sub Pop International Headquarters, where it was promptly scheduled for the coveted April 1st, 2016 release date. What a story, right?
So, about the record: It’s real good! Mike’s signature bass crunch and vocals are all over it, and the Melvins are in fine form. It has everything from hefty noise-rock churn (ref. the lead track, “Chicken ‘n’ Dump”) to a Public Image Ltd. song to cough-syrup blues (“A Dead Pile of Worthless Junk”) to helpful advice (“A Friend in Need is a Friend You Don’t Need”) to deconstructed black metal (“Art School Fight Song”). Neither Melvins nor godheadSilo fans will be disappointed, nor will detractors of either; to paraphrase Mike, if you don’t like it, it probably wasn’t meant for you.
Most of Three Men and a Baby was recorded in 1999 at Louder Studios by Tim Green (The Fucking Champs), and the rest was recorded and mixed in 2015 at Sound of Sirens by Toshi Kasai.