Despite quite a few so-called "grunge" albums rocketing to the top of the charts in the early '90s, there were several releases that somehow managed to slip through the cracks. Case in point, the Melvins' 1993 classic Houdini. Despite the album being one of their most succinct from a songwriting/playing point of view -- and not to mention parts being produced by old pal Kurt Cobain -- the fine Houdini never managed to receive the attention it deserved at the time of its release. But subsequently, an "appreciation cult" has appeared to form around the release, resulting in Buzz and Dale deciding to re-air the album in its entirety in 2005. The end result, Houdini Live 2005: A Live History of Gluttony and Lust (which sees Trevor Dunn momentarily occupy the ever-rotating Melvins bass spot) is every bit as deliciously heavy as its original -- maybe even more so in this live setting. As far as heavy, dense riffing goes, few albums scaled the same heights as Houdini, and the live version doesn't disappoint, as evidenced by a cover of Kiss' "Going Blind," as well as "Hooch" and "Set Me Straight," the latter of which is combined together with a fierce punk rocker, "DCH." Despite it not being a "career spanner," the Melvins just may have issued their definitive live album with Houdini Live 2005: A Live History of Gluttony and Lust.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato