JELLO BIAFRA WITH THE MELVINS
"Sieg Howdy!"

(Alternative Tentacles)

01. Halo of Flies
02. The Lighter Side of Global Terrorism (Extended Space-Melt Version)
03. Lessons In What Not To Become
04. Those Dumb Punk Kids (Will Buy Anything)
05. Kali-fornia Uber Alles 21st Century (live)
06. Wholly Bun Bull
07. Voted off the Island
08. Dawn of the Locusts (March of the Locusts Deadverse Remix by Dalek)
09. Enchanted Thoughtfist (Enchanted Al Remix)
10. Caped Crusader (Subway Gas/Hello Kitty Remix)

RATING: 7.5/10

This one's already on the Christmas list of that subset of punks and metalheads who salivate like Pavlov's dogs at the mention of certain code words (Bill Hicks, Ralph Nader, Tool, this week's Mike Patton project). But for the rest of us, there's a lot to dig into on this weird quasi-new-album. Remixes, new songs, and even a Schwarzenegger-ed "Kali-fornia Uber Alles", fresh for 2005, make for a mixed bag of anarchic, metallic punk with a slew of surprises.

The first comes immediately — the thought of Biafra tackling the prog-sludge weirdness of ALICE COOPER cult chestnut "Halo of Flies" may seem a little incongruous, but it actually works like a charm. The seven-minute-plus reworking of "The Lighter Side of Global Terrorism" crackles with the fury of vintage DEAD KENNEDYS, as does new cut "Those Dumb Punk Kids (Will Buy Anything)", a scathing retelling of Biafra's side of his dispute with his former band. Not coincidentally, the guitarwork of Buzz Osborne on this track recalls some of that speedy, "Winnebago Warrior" East Bay Ray riffing style.

THE MELVINS, for their part, are on fire here — adding a dollop of Reagan-era punk to their sometimes-difficult sludge metal really gives them a kick in the ass, and they match Biafra's liverish fury with some thundering revivalist riffs that just plain rock. The only real complaint, obviously, is that with three remixes, an "extended version," and the "Kalifornia" rehash, you're not looking at a lot of new material, especially for full price (one of the new songs, "Voted Off the Island", is fifty seconds long, fer Chrissakes). But again, the faithful have already snapped this up, and it's not like the quality isn't there. If the rehash offends your sensibilities, just pick up the source material — last year's "Never Breathe What You Can't See" — instead. Either way, Biafra's return to fronting a band is something to celebrate, especially when everyone involved has pulled it off with such fire and fury.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).