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(A) Senile Animal
(a) Senile Animal
Cover for the CD edition.
Studio album by (the) Melvins
Released October 10 2006
Recorded 1 - 14 July 2006 at West Beach Recorders in Hollywood, California
Genre Sludge Metal, Stoner Metal, Punk Rock
Length 41:15
Producer Melvins, Toshi Kasai
(the) Melvins chronology
A Live History of Gluttony and Lust
(2006)
(A) Senile Animal
(2006)
Smash The State
(2007)

(A) Senile Animal is the fifteenth studio album by Melvins. Recorded in the summer of 2006 and released on 10 October 2006 via Ipecac, it would serve as a major turning point in the band's career. With long-time bassist Kevin Rutmanis departing from the group a year prior, The Melvins would join forces with Big Business and the first album with the "double-drum lineup", evoking more elements of hard rock and punk rock to compliment their signature sludge sound.

BackgroundEdit

Following sporadic touring in 2005 the Melvins would be forced to part ways with longtime bassist Kevin Rutmanis that year. Discouraged by the ordeal, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover would re-group, doing shows with Trevor Dunn and David Scott Stone handling bass duties depending on the event. On 18 January 2006 it would be announced by the band that Jared Warren (Karp, The Whip, Big Business) and Coady Willis (The Murder City Devils, Big Business). The band would spend two weeks recording this album in what would be the longest spent on an album since Stoner Witch.

Both Dale Crover and Buzz Osborne would speak about the new lineup change:

"Now we're going to be a four-piece. Two drums — just like the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead! We've known [the Big Business] guys for a long time. It's not like they're going to quit Big Business or anything like that. When we tour, we're hoping that they'll open. It's great, he's left handed, so we want to do this 'mirror image' type of thing. We've kind of fused our two drum sets together, and we're going to try and do some crazy thing with it. We're sharing these big toms in between us."
 
— Dale Crover, Billboard[1]
"When it became obvious we wouldn't be working with Kevin again, me and Dale were very discouraged fellows – I was bummed out for 18 months! We didn't know what we were going to do, but we knew we were going to do something. We'd played with Big Business and Jared [Warren]'s name had been batted around when we were thinking of bass players but I thought instead of just getting him, why don't we just get both those guys? We thought about two drummers a long time ago and messed around a little bit but [getting Coady Willis, Big Business' drummer] was the best decision we could have made. I'm not afraid of making changes and everything's worked out perfectly for everybody including Kevin. This record is one of my favourites and I think we're just scratching the surface of what we can do with these guys."
 
— Buzz Osborne, Kerrang[2]

Details on the album's release would be unveiled on 18 July 2006,[3] with the first tour dates supporting the album announced later that month[4] It would later be revealed that the band would tour for three months through North America to support the album along with a two week stint in the United Kingdon, the first date with the double-drum lineup on 6 September at The Library in Sacramento, California.[5] Big Business would serve as direct support along with sporadic support from the likes of Porn (The Men Of), Ghostgital, Joe Lally and Altamont.

(A) Senile Animal would be released on CD on 10 October 2006, peaking at #6 on the Heatseekers and #20 on the Independent Albums chart. A song recorded in the same sessions would be a cover of "Boss Hoss" by The Sonics. A 7" Split with comedian Patton Oswalt would be released by Chunklet Magazine on 28 October 2006.[6] A music video for "The Talking Horse" was made and shown in 2007. The song "A History of Bad Men" appears in the film I Know Who Killed Me and in the TV show True Detective. "Rat Faced Granny", "The Hawk" and "You've Never Been Right" is often referred to in setlists as "The Trilogy" as the three are an ode to punk rock with a heavy emphasis on the double drums. The latter of the three parodies the Nirvana song title "You Know You're Right" and is allegedly a jab at Courtney Love.

In 2008 a vinyl edition would be released via Hydra Head Records. However unlike a conventional LP the album was released as a deluxe 4LP set, contained in a thick oversize gatefold packaging with 4 slots and 4 thick, full color inner sleeves containing 4 one-sided and etched records. It would be limited to 3035 overall copies, some of which with an additional comic and belt buckle:

  • Black Vinyl, Orange Boxset (35 copies)
  • Black Vinyl (100 copies)
  • Cleay/Grey Vinyl (300 copies)
  • Clear Dark Blue Vinyl (600 copies)
  • Four Color Set (1000 copies)
  • Dark Blue/Yellow Mix (1000 copies)

(A) Senile Animal would be praised by several critics at the time of release. Sean Murphy of Pop Matters would score an 8/10 and speak highly of the album, praising the double drums, vocal harmonizing and hammering guitars throughout, citing that Buzz's guitar craft has gotten better with age.[7] Drowned in Sound, also awarding an 8/10, would praise the album throughout and state "In lieu of live albums and collaborations aplenty, A Senile Animal couldn’t have snarled to life at a better time.".[8] Pitchfork, awarding a 7.3/10, praising the album "as the band's most no-frills, accessible, and flat-out best album since Stoner Witch.".[9]

Other reviewers would include Punknews (8/10),[10] Your Last Rites,[11] Sputnik Music (3.5/5)[12] and Swordfish Blog.[13] Charlie Bennett and Supercontext would do an episode dedicated to the album.[14] Lastly, Doodlehound would do a tenth anniversary tribute in 2016, praising the album's overall sound but also noting the band's need to change and citing it "In retrospect, (A) Senile Animal is one of the most important albums in this band's illustrious career.". Doodlehound would also elicit a "Highest Possible Recommendation" and cite it as "pracitcally flawless" and among his favorite albums with the following closing statement: "I've personally told people over the years that my all-time favorite Melvins release was Bullhead but in time (A) Senile Animal is a close second if not outright tied for first. Like, we're talking they're zooming in so close to the horse's nose hairs so there isn't a dead heat at The Kentucky Derby close.".[15]

TracklistEdit

All songs written by The Melvins.

  • 1. The Talking Horse (2:41)
  • 2. Blood Witch (2:45)
  • 3. Civilized Worm (5:57)
  • 4. A History of Drunks (2:20)
  • 5. Rat Faced Granny (2:41)
  • 6. The Hawk (2:35)
  • 7. You've Never Been Right (2:30)
  • 8. A History of Bad Men (6:43)
  • 9. The Mechanical Bride (6:26)
  • 10. A Vast Filthy Prison (6:44)

PersonnelEdit

  • King Buzzo - Guitar, Vocals
  • Dale Crover - Drums, Vocals
  • Jared Warren- Bass, Vocals
  • Coady Willis - Drums, Vocals
  • Toshi Kasai - Engineer, Mixing
  • John Golden - Mastering
  • Mackie Osborne - Artwork, Layout
  • Kevin Willis - Photography

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. BlabbermouthMELVINS Expand Lineup, Ready Live Album accessed ?? July 2020
  2. [Treasure Chest: An Intimate Portrait of a Life in Rock: King Buzzo. Kerrang! (1214): 60. 14 June 2008. accessed ?? July 2020
  3. Blabbermouth
  4. Blabbermouth
  5. themelvins.net
  6. Encyclopaedia Metallum
  7. Pop Matters
  8. Drowned in Sound
  9. Pitchfork
  10. Punknews
  11. Your Last Rites
  12. Sputnik Music
  13. Swordfish Blog
  14. Charlie Bennett
  15. Doodlehound
  V·T·E Melvins
Current Members Buzz OsborneDale CroverJeff PinkusSteven McDonald
Past Members Mike DillardMatt LukinLori BlackJoe PrestonMark DeutromKevin RutmanisTrevor DunnJared WarrenCoady Willis
Albums Gluey Porch TreatmentsOzmaBullheadLysolHoudiniPrickStoner WitchStagHonkyThe MaggotThe BootlickerThe CrybabyElectroretardHostile Ambient TakeoverPigs of The Roman EmpireNever Breathe What You Can't See(A) Senile AnimalNude With BootsThe Bride Screamed MurderFreak PukeEverybody Loves SausagesTres CabronesHold It InThree Men and a BabyBasses LoadedA Walk With Love and DeathPinkus Abortion Technician
Select Extended Plays and Splits Six SongsEggnogKing Buzzo (EP)Dale Crover (EP)Joe Preston (EP)Interstellar OverdriveSmash The StateSludge GlamorousHurray For Me, Fuk YouThe Bulls and The Bees1983Beer HippyWar PussyHigh Desert OverdoseSteven McDonald (EP)SabbathHot FishBangersEscape From LAWhite Lazy Boy
Live Albums & Videos Your Choice Live Vol. 12Salad of a Thousand DelightsTora Tora ToraAlive At The F*cker ClubLive At Slim's 8-Track TapeColossus of DestinyA Live History of Gluttony and LustThe EndMelvins Vs. MinneapolisPick Your BattlesEndless ResidencySugar Daddy LiveMelvins Live At Third Man RecordsAround The USA in 51 Days: The Movie!The Colossus of Destiny: A Melvins Tale
Compilations Singles 1-1226 SongsNeither Here Nor ThereMangled Demos From 1983Sieg Howdy!The Making Love DemosChicken Switch
Associated Bands and Artists Billy Anderson • Nirvana • Altamont • Fantomas • ShrinebuilderTom HazelmyerMackie OsborneBig BusinessToshi Kasai • Brian Walsby • Crystal FairyCrystal Fairy (Album)
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