Oh The Melvins. How do you manage to stay around for so long and still crank out great tunes and albums? It seems like you’ve been around for-uh-vah!!!
Being a Melvins vinyl collector is akin to experimenting in a descending into madness and frustration. There’s a lot out there. And some uber-limited which make it nearly-impossible for the casual, but still dedicated, fan to have a complete collection.
One of the band’s more-favored albums is (A) Senile Animal. Initially released in 2006 on the Ipecac label, the release marked not only the band’s entry into name-change (kinda) by dropping “The” and morphing into just plain Melvins, but also the long-standing to this day merging with Big Business into the group. Not quite a supergroup, but more of a beefed up Melvins.
For some time after the release on Ipecac there was little to no mention of the album getting the vinyl treatment. It wasn’t until 2008 or so that rumors started swirling that Hydra Head was going to put out a vinyl box set. Sure enough around October of that year, the release materialized. At first it was available as a true box set: the 4×12” (clear with grey haze & etched flip-sides) album in a binder style packaging, housed in a box with a belt buckle and a comic book done by Tom Neely, “Your Disease Spreads Quick”. The only catch with this numbered box set (300 total) was that it’d be only available at Secret Headquarters, a comic book store working with Hydra Head. Thankfully there was a way for non-Los Angeles residents to have a chance to get one as SHQ took down names via email for a “lottery” to get one.
In usual Hydra Head fashion, additional colors were done for the release in a non-boxset format and available via their online store on Blue Collar Distro. Unfortunately, and still in typical HH fashion, there was no knowledge whatsoever what the pressing numbers were for the release. Hell, even to this day it is unknown. Hydra Head likes to keep people guessing.
Clear Blue – Exclusive color to Hydra Head and only available via their e-store. Allegedly there are only 600 pressed in this color.
Peach, Olive, Yellow, Dark Blue – How many pressed for this one? Who knows!
Dark Blue/Yellow & Dark Blue/Yellow Haze – Guess what? No one except Hydra Head knows how many pressed on this one too!
And to further the mystery and shenanigans of this release, a black version was pressed limited to only 100. The attainability was done in true “lottery” fashion. At the time, Hydra Head used to have “Chel’s List”. This was a direct mailorder with the label instead of going through the BCD e-store. To be in the running for one of the black vinyl versions, all that had to be done was submit an email to a specific address given and names would be randomly chosen. A few people lucked out of course.
Did I mention that the release was done with special attention to detail? It’s a 4×12” release but on the flip-side of each record is a different etching. The etchings are the same on any of the colors pressed but they were better represented (in pictures at least) on the black vinyl one.
But wait there’s more!
This year (2010), Hydra Head went a step further and “repressed” the boxset in an orange edition with black vinyl. This was done for Record Store Day and to be sold exclusively at Vacation Vinyl (HH’s store) in L.A. It was strictly limited to 30 copies. A few copies found their way to Vacation’s online store for a lucky few that snagged one.
As you can see I haven’t opened mine since it’s essentially the same exact boxset as the first one but in an orange box. And since I am a completist asshole after all, I had to get it.