CD £7.99 IPC136CD
"Melvins Lite" CD on Ipecac.
This Melvins album isn’t really a Melvins album. Only it is. It’s not business as usual, though, as this time around they’re stripped down to a three-piece with Buzzo and Crover joined by Mr Bungle/Tomahawk bottom-ender Trevor Dunn for a slick, streamlined power trio.
Although billed as “The Melvins Lite”, this isn’t lightness as the layman would imagine it. Sure, there’s less bombast, (slightly) less distortion, less doom, but in their place there’s some really authentic-sounding ‘70s hard rock riffing, blazing psych thunder at a faster pace than you’re probably used to from Melvins. They do take it down a bit for some jazzy moments with double bass but when they pick up a head of steam the feel I’m getting is a combination of the smart-ass ‘70s riffs of Pearls & Brass with the white-knuckle ferocity of Unsane or the Dwarves. Totally badass.
Some of the stuff I’m liking best on here is the stuff that doesn’t really sound like anything else we’ve heard from Melvins before. The moody Grails-ish instrumental ‘Holy Barbarians’, with its spooky bowed bass atmospherics, somehow avoids being filler and works both on its own and as a part of the album as a whole. The shameless glam rock posturing of ‘Let Me Roll It’ is another somewhat unMelvinsy high point but everything on this album is a lot of fun. This is one of the most unique and enjoyable Melvins experiences I’ve had in quite a while. It’s always great to see bands with this much talent continuing to push themselves creatively rather than just resting on their laurels.
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