Sugar Daddy Live
By Ellen Eldridge
The pleasingly sharp flavor of an old favorite arouses the taste buds during The Melvins’ latest release Sugar Daddy Live. This biting collection of songs reminds punk fans of the reasons to get rowdy on a Saturday night. The Melvins take listeners into the sweet, liquor-soaked club without having to leave the living room, car or iPod with a romp recorded at The Busta-Guts Club in Downey, Calif.
The 13-song live album contains promoted fan favorites “Boris,” “A History of Bad Men” and “The Kicking Machine,” but with an almost 30-year repertoire from which to pull material, some fans will feel vindicated by the heavier-rooted song choices thinking Sugar Daddy Live spotlights the true, indie fans. Then again, some of those same hardcore fans may yearn for more diversity. One thing stands, The Melvins don’t disappoint, ranging from nostalgic to in-your-face.
The Melvins made their name from their characteristic clashing, frenzied instrumentation and the incessant vibe of an all-out acid-binge; just what one hears on “Eye Flys” from the 1987 release Gluey Porch Treatments, with the temperamental trashing of cymbals and vocals reminiscent of Glenn Danzig from The Misfits days. Songs like “You’ve Never Been Right,” from the 2006 release A Senile Animal, cash in on the sludgy-grunge sound that conjures Kurt Cobain. In keeping with strange bedfellows, Sugar Daddy Live was released by Ipecac Records, owned by Mike Patton (Faith No More/Mr. Bungle).
Despite the fact that a more-or-less garage band like The Melvins won’t expect to win new fans with a live album after almost three decades, this writer hopes some of those wasting time on the radio’s sugary, summer jams get a chance to wet their lips with the taste of Sugar Daddy Live. After finding themselves in both Christchurch and Tokyo when their respective earthquakes hit, the band returned to the states with plans to play shows on the East Coast in both Massachusetts and New York in June.