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Three Men and a Baby [Slipcase]

Album: Three Men and a Baby [Slipcase]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Chicken 'n' Dump
2)    Limited Teeth
3)    Bummer Conversation
4)    Annalisa
5)    Dead Pile of Worthless Junk, A
6)    Read the Label (It's Chili)
7)    Dead Canaries
8)    Pound the Giants
9)    Friend in Need Is a Friend You Don't Need, A
10)    Lifestyle Hammer
11)    Gravel
12)    Art School Fight Song
13)    Lifestyle Hammer
14)    Gravel
15)    Art School Fight Song
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: King Buzzo (vocals, guitar); Dale Crover (vocals, drums); Mike Kunka, Kevin Rutmanis (vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: Toshi Kasai.
  • Recording information: Louder Studios, San Francisco, CA (02/2015); Sound Of Sirens, Los Angeles, CA (02/2015); Louder Studios, San Francisco, CA (1999); Sound Of Sirens, Los Angeles, CA (1999).
  • Given the Melvins' profligate recording habits and eagerness to work with others, it's rather surprising it never happened before. But in 1999, the grunge pioneers somehow managed to lose track of one of their projects. The Melvins had gone on tour with Mike Kunka, whose band Godheadsilo had recently broken up. Given their shared dedication to idiosyncratic heavy rock, it made sense that Kunka and the Melvins thought it would be fun to make an album together. But after completing most of the work, Kunka opted to take a short break before wrapping up the recording and finishing the mix. That break ended up lasting 16 years, and it wasn't until 2015 that he and the Melvins reconvened to put the final touches on their album. Considering the album's unusual history and long incubation period, it would be nice to report that the finished product, Three Men and a Baby, is some sort of masterpiece. That most certainly isn't the case, but the album is a generally successful experiment in low-end heaviness. For the Three Men and a Baby sessions, Kunka, Buzz Osborne, and Kevin Rutmanis all played bass (with Kunka's tuned high enough to send out shards of guitar-like noise). The result is a roiling sea of thick, noisy sounds, soupy and angular, propelled by Dale Crover's limber but hard-hitting drum work. The work is not unlike what one would expect from the Melvins, but Kunka does add an edge of spooky weirdness to the music that recalls Godheadsilo's brutal, low-tech vision. And while the album often sounds swampy and ominous, there's a curiously playful undertow to this music, even when it doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs. The oddball "A Friend in Need Is a Friend You Don't Need" is full of non-sequitur hilarity. Very few people could cover Public Image Ltd.'s "Annalisa" and sound like they were enjoying it. But there's too much fire in the take on Three Men and a Baby to believe Kunka and the Melvins weren't into it. There's plenty here that will intrigue the Melvins' and Kunka's separate fan bases, and perhaps this could have become an ongoing collaboration if Kunka had finished the album sooner. ~ Mark Deming
Professional Reviews
Pitchfork (Website) - "The first four songs on THREE MEN AND A BABY showcase the straightforward side of the bulldozer-riffing vocabulary the Melvins helped create."
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