Album review | FOLK METAL

Buzz Osborne, ‘This Machine Kills Artists’

The title of this solo acoustic debut album from the singer-guitarist of the storied Seattle grunge outliers Melvins — a play on “This Machine Kills Fascists,” the slogan that protest balladeer Woody Guthrie famously painted on his guitar in 1941 — immediately indicates that the enigmatic King Buzzo hasn’t taken pains to extract his tongue from his cheek. There’s no whiff of the near-piety that saturated so many episodes of “MTV Unplugged.” Instead, Osborne plies his customary snarl, obstreperous lyrics, and bespoke riffs — sometimes lightly altered with effects, but
bone-stark otherwise — on crabby yarns like “Rough Democracy,” “Everything’s Easy for You,” “The Blithering Idiot,” and “Useless King of the Punks.” Pithy where Melvins might have sprawled, Osborne’s solo songs still amount to
M-80s lobbed at convention with reckless abandon and cockeyed aim. (Out now)


ESSENTIAL “Rough Democracy”

Buzz Osborne performs July 10 at Brighton
Music Hall.

Steve Smith can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @nightafternight.
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