Friday, August 01, 2008


Nude With Boots, the new record by the Melvins is out and about and ready to kick some ass. I must say that I was not as thrilled with the last record, (A) Senile Animal, as most folks seemed to be. This one is a continuation of what they started when they beefed up the members from 3 to 4, adding a second (and I might have once thought superfluous) drummer to play alongside Dale Crover, the finest rock drummer I can think of next to Keith Moon or John Bonham.

Speaking of Bonham, the opening track of Nude With Boots, “The Kicking Machine”, has a real Led Zep One feel (the easiest comparison would be “Good Times, Bad Times”). That is, until the vocals kick in and you are reminded that you are listening to a Melvins record which can often sound like the Cookie Monster singing over the most interesting “metal” you’ve ever heard.

Speaking of vocals, the harmonies between Buzzo and Jared feel tighter this time around with one voice shadowing the other, jumping on top of an established melody and coloring it further, pushing it into something more dynamic than you’d hear on legendary records like Bullhead. The second drummer adds more stomp and a further level of power to what was already the most powerful band working today; the second vocalist-cum-bassist rounds out the beautifully (pardon this) dadaist voice of King Buzzo.

And there’s more to digest this time around. (A) Senile Animal brought the rock (and also brought back a lot of so-called fans who seem to complain whenever the Melvins stray from power chords and stomping drums and—imagine this—try something different) but Nude With Boots perfects it. “Dies Iraea” (according to Crover, the band’s take on The Shining theme) is the most goth thing I’ve heard in ages and “Suicide in Progress” feels like a direct link back to Honkey, which, at it’s least “experimental,” was a direct link back to Lysol. I can’t get enough of this song. This is what makes the Melvins great: up-beat stoner rock that somehow morphs into a slow, morphine friendly menace.

I’ve enjoyed the reviews thus far. The Onion disliked it. The Reader loved it. Pitchfork took their usual stance of non-review by way of making some observations about the band, their past, their imitators, their former members, Kurt Cobain, and then, for all of a few tossed-offed lines, spoke about the record itself. And though I am guilty of comparing the record to the ones that proceeded it, I can’t understand how Pitchfork gets away with saying that the band has not had an interesting record since Colossus of Destiny (which, of course, everyone hated). They must not have been paying attention to Pigs of the Roman Empire I guess.

Oh, the band will be in town (my town, that is) Monday with Big Business (the duo that comprises half of this incarnation of the Melvins) and Crover’s side project, Porn (Men of). Go get your rock on, bitch.