There are albums that hurt in the best possible way… Such a work is Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Weld.
I first found that feedbackin’, reverb-drenched, lava-thick, piece o’ white, hot trash on double cassette during a school field trip that included a stop at the mall! Weld was recorded in February of 1991, a live assault on fans that featured bone-crunching renditions of Crazy Horse classics and more smelted with material from the outfit’s 1990 rocker, Ragged Glory.
From the opening clangs to the final fade of feedback, Weld should have come with a Surgeon General’s warning. Neil actually suffered significant hearing loss– not just from the actual performance but from the mixdown of the album! Weld is not for polite company– you don’t put it on and talk about your day while sipping white wine under a ceiling fan. No, it’s a four-headed dragon belching volcanic ash, digging black glass claws the size of Les Paul’s into your torso, dripping napalm into your ear canals, screamin’, “HEY, HEY, MY, MY, ROCK ‘N ROLL WILL NEVER DIE!”
There’s absolutely no way to truly appreciate Weld at any other level besides maximum, my-speakers-were-not-built-to-handle-this volume. There are no harmonies, just the strain of Neil and the boys shouting, howling into microphones hardly designed to match the onslaught from the backline of Godzilla amplifiers. Solos crush together like scrapped metal at a salvage yard, the songs barely recognizable until the choruses kick in with the fury of a cranked out pitbull… WHAT?
At some point– maybe not today or tomorrow or even next year– you’re going to feel emotionally fractured, broken. It’ll be a spiritual thing no doctor can diagnose, and you’ll be at a loss for a way to mend. You’re gonna need something fierce enough to weld the wretched pieces of your world back together. Let me know, I’ll lend you my cassettes.