In 1999, Melvins
began releasing albums on the newly formed Ipecac Recordings
, and formed a trilogy with the first three. The trilogy albums were titled The Maggot
, The Bootlicker
, and The Crybaby
, and their releases were staggered throughout 1999 and 2000. The Maggot was only the second album released on the label; the first was a self-titled album by Fantômas
, the new band fronted by Ipecac co-founder Mike Patton
. The trilogy were sold as a bundle in 2000 once they were all out, although if the similar album names and covers are ignored, the individual releases are quite distinct from each other. It isn't much of a trilogy, and certainly not Melvins' best work, but despite the shortcomings they are decent alternative hard rock albums.
The Maggot is my favourite out of the three. It's not very innovative, unfortunately, but I feel that the experimentation was done on the other two falls flat. The Maggot is just another reiteration of the classic Melvins sound: rough, heavy rock with chugging guitars, guttural vocals, and raucous drums. There are some pretty good songs on here, but they get buried under the band's extensive discography. After so many years, there has to be some kind of change or else the style becomes stagnant. Melvins had not lost their touch; later albums like (A) Senile Animal and Nude With Boots prove that fairly conclusively. The Maggot just marks the end of Melvins' original style, the one they debuted with in Gluey Porch Treatments and Ozma.
This tried-and-true format is used for the first four tracks, and then there is a cover of a Fleetwood Mac song: The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Pronged Crown). Much heavier and more true to the original than the famous Judas Priest cover, this song is probably the high point of the album. Covers by Melvins always seem to turn out well. I think it's because their sound is so recognizable by fans that when Melvins cover a song, it sounds like an original no matter where it came from.
The remaining three tracks combine thrash, sludge and doom metal, again staying within the realm of music that Melvins have already thoroughly explored. When the last song ends, a minute and a half of play time remains. It's quiet at first, and then a jingling begins to fade in, like sleigh bells. They then fade back into silence.
For some reason, all the songs are broken up into two parts, roughly in the middle. I can't see any obvious reason for this, since the songs are often split in places that don't make sense, so I assume it was just done for the hell of it. Because of this, there are technically 16 tracks on the CD version, but only 8 songs.
1. Amazon (1:33)
2. AMAZON (5:55)
3. We All Love Judy (2:32)
4. Manky (7:28)
5. The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Pronged Crown) (6:53)
6. The Horn Bearer (2:28)
7. Judy (2:37)
8. See How Pretty, See How Smart (10:32)
The Maggot - The Bootlicker - The Crybaby
The Maggot - Melvins - 1999 - Ipecac