Hooch

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Songfacts®:

  • Songwriters are asked to submit the lyrics to their songs when they get published, so we can see that Melvins lead singer Buzz Osborne is singing lines like "Lost icka toe rest, might like a sender doe ree" and "You sink my swan, rolly get a worst in" on this track (either that or some pour soul at their publishing company had to interpret them).

    The words are mush, but can be interpreted in some kind of existential way if you think hard enough. Osborne, however, didn't have anything deep and meaningful in mind, but insists that they are real words. He told us: "Believe it or not, those are actually lyrics, even though it sounds like nonsense. I'd left the lyrics at home and I couldn't for the life of me remember exactly what they said. I remember that day I was recording the vocal, I had to drive all the way back to my house and get them. I thought that was pretty funny." (Here's our full Buzz Osborne interview.)
  • One of the most popular Melvins songs, Buzz Osborne tells us that it's the dynamics of the drums that set it apart. "I knew that the riff in and of itself wasn't that interesting," he said.
  • The Melvins formed in Montesano, Washington in 1983, about 100 miles away from Seattle. Buzz Osborne is from Aberdeen, which happens to be where Kurt Cobain grew up. Cobain was a big fan of the Melvins, and when Nirvana hit it big, he convinced Atlantic Records to give them a deal. Houdini was the Melvins first major label release, and it was co-produced by Cobain. "Hooch" was released as a single and a video, directed by Chel White, was made for the song.

    Anyone looking for the roots of Nirvana could find it in the Melvins, who are cited by many musicians as an early influence on the Grunge sound. "They got really heavy, and then a lot of bands decided they would be really heavy, too," Dan Peters of Mudhoney said. On "Hooch," you can hear an unfiltered version of the Grunge sound, which of course had little commercial appeal. The Melvins released two more albums on Atlantic before settling in with the independent label Ipecac. They retained a small but fervent fanbase, and released albums on a regular basis through the '10s.

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