Although often viewable as a lazy, contractually obliged cop-out, the covers album can be an exciting chance for a band with a persuasive identity to put a new spin on a classy selection of influences. A band as distinctive, creative and savvy as Melvins are thus just the sort of group capable of doing it justice, and the long-serving Washington outsider heroes have assembled a versatile set of cracking tunes for Everybody Loves Sausages, mixing a perfect combination of giant rock radio staples with obscure underground punk choices.
The opening loutish trawl through Venom’s classic song Warhead – featuring Neurosis’s Scott Kelly – takes some beating, but their respectful take on Queen’s sweet 70s hit You’re My Best Friend impresses with precision and conviction, refusing to skimp on the lush harmonies and heartwarming charm of the original.
A quick blast through the timeless Black Betty is irresistible, and they beef up David Bowie’s 10-minute occult drugged epic Station To Station magnificently – likewise, the cover of Roxy Music’s In Every Dream Home A Heartache transcends the initial hilarity of guest vocalist Jello Biafra’s Bryan Ferry impersonation to brilliantly amplify the doomed grandeur of the original.
Like its title, Everybody Loves Sausages is enormous fun, but also a compelling showcase for this often wayward band’s tastes and talents.