Mark Deutrom

The Silent Treatment

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The Melvins' alternative rock is definitely an acquired taste -- some people see them as courageous risk-takers, while others see them as merely self-indulgent. Similar reactions are likely to surround The Silent Treatment, the solo debut by former Melvins bassist Mark D. Some will exalt this 1998 recording as courageous experimentation; others will see much of it as eccentricity for the sake of eccentricity. And truth be told, The Silent Treatment is both of those things. That isn't to say that the album is a carbon copy of Mark D's work with the Melvins; The Silent Treatment has a weirdness of its own. A variety of influences assert themselves on this CD, which is far from predictable. One minute, he's hitting you with abrasive alternative metal sludge -- and the next minute, he will get into bizarre, odd, psychedelic and electronic sounds. Without question, The Silent Treatment is quite self-indulgent; parts of the album do sound like strangeness for its own sake. But more often than not, Mark D's experimentation pays off. Like a lot of avant-garde jazzmen -- Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, and Anthony Braxton immediately come to mind -- the avant rocker comes up with enough interesting ideas for you to forgive his excesses. Nonetheless, The Silent Treatment isn't for everyone; this CD is strictly for adventurous, daring listeners.

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