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Melvins drummer Dale Crover's second solo album, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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Dale Crover is known best as the drummer for the Melvins since 1984, but his resume is stocked with more than just that.

The Aberdeen, Wash., native played bass in Fecal Matter and has also worked with the bands Red Kross, Altamont, Acid King, Men of Porn, Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends, Shrinebuilder and with Hank Williams II.. And he spent a brief time in Nirvana during the late 80s, playing on a 1988 demo tape and on three tracks from its 1989 album "Bleach."

More recently Crover, 53, has gone solo, with his sophomore album, "Rat-A-Tat-Tat!," out Friday, Jan. 15. We'll be hearing more from him later this year, too, with the Feb. 26 release of "Walking With God," the next album from Melvins 1983, which features original drummer Mike Dillard and Crover on bass...

Crover has been working on "Rat-A-Tat-Tat!" since "Fickle Finger of Fate" was released in 2017, writing while on the road and bringing the material to producer Toshi Kasai in Sun Valley, Calif. "I was writing and recording little pieces when I had time, between all the other bands I was playing in. Luckily it was pretty much all done before (the COVID pandemic) shut everything down."

While "Fickle Finger" was mostly a one-man project, for this album Crover put together a band, including Red Kross bassist Steve McDonald and members of Altamont, Plan D and Dangerously Sleazy. "I hadn't originally planned to put together band, but after the last record was out I wanted to play live, and the main thing for me, putting out another record, is so we can headline and have enough songs. I didn't really make it with the band -- I wrote the stuff myself and did the guitar and drums and then brought the other people in. But it was great to have them all be part of it."

Among the tracks on the new album is "Shark Like Overbite," which Crover calls "the poppiest thing I ever came up with. It's a leftover riff I had from the Melvins last record. I stumbled into something else; I think I was listening to Graham Parker at the time I wrote that. It kind of reminded me of the Replacements a little bit. It's something new and different I've never really done before."

As the pandemic has kept Crover and his assorted bands off the road since last March, he's hoping to start working on another solo album sooner rather than later. "I suppose it's a good time two work on music now, so I'm going to continue and keep writing songs 'til I have enough for another one. But I'm hoping even before that things get back to where we can play live again and do some touring. I think that's what everybody wants. It's what we do, y'know? We miss it."

Crover says it was fun to bring the Melvins 1983 lineup together for "Walking With God," which he promises will sound a bit different from the band's usual albums. "That version of the band is forever stuck in eighth grade, humor-wise. We've done a cover of the Beach Boys' 'I Get Around' but we changed it to 'I F*** Around.' And we did a Harry Nilsson song, 'You're Breaking My Heart,' which is one where he (sings) 'So f*** you...' For a long time the Melvins went without having any kind of cussing on the record. Now all bets are off."

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