The Melvins have been releasing a slurry of punk metal anthems for decades, paying very little attention to commercial trends. This playful arrogance has earned them a band of loyal followers, half of whom this album will annoy.
Chicken Switch is the band’s first remix album, and utilizes some of the best experimental musicians on the scene today. Each artist was given an album from which to create their remix, a radical act but one that has paid off.
Yamatsuka Eye, of Boredoms fame, leads the album with a destructive, percussion-led track soaked with distortion, but the best track is Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo’s contribution. He creates a masterpiece with his trilogy derived from the Eggnog EP, encapsulating it in a mere four minutes. His remix is also the most likely to be adored by fans, managing to keep a sludge metal core to the track.
Chicken Switch is certainly not for the impatient, but those who persevere will certainly find a plethora of hidden gems across the album. It exists as a showcase of the greatness that can occur when genre boundaries are thrown aside and talented musicians are allowed to run wild. This album will probably not win the band any new fans, but it won’t lose them any either. It will take its place in the collection of Melvins albums that manage to take the piss and get away with it, though only just this time.