20 Years Later: 'Houdini'


Although the major labels were as clueless as to what "the kids" wanted in the early '90s as they'd been in the mid '6os and, accordingly, opened their checkbooks to anything that even remotely resembled the new status quo, it's safe to say the Melvins may not have been signed by Atlantic to a three album deal were it not for their close ties to a certain former roadie of theirs by the name of Kurt Cobain

The Nirvana frontman partially produced and played on Houdini, the first and arguably the best of the Melvins' major label trifecta. (The other two, Stoner Witch [1994] and Stag [1996], are both quite worthy additions to the Melvins catalog.) Depending on your point of view, Houdini may or may not be the band's greatest moment, but it is their best known and best selling album to date; a record as powerful in 1993 as it is in 2013. If we're not mistaken the word for that is "timeless".

Highlights: "Hooch", "Night Goat", "Honey Bucket", "Copache".