Former Hole Bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur left her newly formed fanbase at the edge of the pier in front of her Gokstad ship while she went all Valhalla on us in her epic self titled debut ‘Auf Der Maur’ making her fans have a vivacious appetite for more. Now this was in 2004 and it took a decent chunk of 6 years in between touring, promoting and forming a Black Sabbath covers band ‘Hand of Doom.’
Although that the wait for a second release was lengthy, it was easily appeased by the fact that ‘Auf Der Maur’ (her debut) is still a solid release and the endless repeat listens can’t bare to fathom my totally admiration towards her going solo, I mean did you really think that Hole was ever going to be her last footnote in her career? God fucking no!
And thus we enter OOOM (Out Of Our Minds) which I’m glad to say is her second album and about time too because you left me my dear Melissa on nothing but your splash page on your website.
Probably the thing I want to address in this review is that although we got a second album as fans that were waiting, there was a slight mishap that OOOM was pegged as a concept album
with a comic book, short film and I believe a video game included. It was centered on Auf Der Maur’s fascination towards Nordic folklore and of course the tales of the Vikings and Norsemen
I’d toss the video game concept in the scrap as it hasn’t been on record via Wikipedia; however the comic and film are in fact true manifestations from the work in concept.
So is all that waiting worth it in the end……fuck yeah it was!
With every nuance of Melissa beating heart enters this creative genius of post-grunge raw power with its tenacity and ferrous as the woman haltering the bass guitar upon her shoulder for another go into a battle in her fantasy world.
Even with the dismissed concept of being that, this album has that full body of sonic brood to warm the coldest of hearts and minds, hell this is like an extension of her debut and that will further warrant bias from me as a fan.
Title track ‘Out Of Our Minds’ comes at you like a fleet of logging trucks out of control on a slippery forest road, see I’m merely setting the mood inline with the film because it matches up pretty well with the visuals. ‘Isis Speaks’ opens up with a great riff while the song sounds like Ms. Auf Der Maur is beckoning the demons to be unleashed which is fucking epic!
2 other songs to note that garnered my interest were ‘Follow the Map’ and ‘Father’s Grave.’
With ‘Father’s Grave’ you get the classic duet song with none other than Danzig and Melissa parlaying back in forth having Danzig being like a Johnny Cash esq character and this to me is a beautiful song with an actual collaborator being vocal which was something missing in her debut through no fault of her own of course.
‘Follow the Map’ is a weird track to have in her repertoire as its probably the first time that we hear actual notes of dance music…seriously I shit you not! If you hear the opening you can hear the drum machine percussion’s running through it and even ending on it. I’d say it’s not a faithful dance like track but you’ll be fooled into it nevertheless.
Now I’ve only listened to 4 tracks so far and it is a huge commitment to stick to the very end, but from what I can tell you Melissa has earned another place in my record collection to be admired for the ages. The songs do stay into a story telling sort of aspect and it explores her mind as much as possible, something that was suppressed during her tenure in Hole and Smashing Pumpkins but thankfully brought out to smooth out the overall concept and aesthetics.
By now you probably have gathered that I love this album and I can’t recommended enough and for the first time it’s available as a full 320 Kbps MP3 for purchase online, but if you want to go the full magilla you can also purchase it in Vinyl or CD format for collector’s keepsakes.
Melissa can now be accounted as an artist in her own right and she can now shrug off her past involvement in other bands and forge ahead for a bright future!