(THE) MELVINS

melvins_cabrones(the) MELVINS – ‘Tres Cabrones’
You’d think a band who set a 51-gigs-in-51-days Guinness World Record last year, would use their 30th Anniversary year to relax, drink some camomile tea and listen to cassettes of meditative dolphin noises. (the) Melvins are not letting up; the legendary godfathers of grunge are making their mark on 2013.  Following on from the covers record, Everybody Loves Sausages earlier in the year, and in the midst of their 30th Anniversary Tour, the Melvins present to you… Tres Cabrones.  According to King Buzzo, the latest Melvins release is ‘as close as we’re willing to get to the Melvins 1983 line-up’.  The latest incarnation comprises kingpin Buzz ‘King Buzzo’ Osbourne, founding drummer Mike Dillard, and the legendary Dale Crover having a crack at bass.  Rather than returning to original material, they’re serving up a fresh slab of the quintissential Melvins-brand sludge metal, scattered with a few playful japes in the form of traditional North Amercian folksongs.  In ‘Psychodelic Haze’, the crunching, chugging guitar/bass riff is unrelenting throughout and pinned down by Dillard’s pounding beats.  Buzzo’s signature vocals come as standard and various guitar squawks and whines permeate the heavy groove; making it a stand out track.  Its gravitas though is turned on it’s head in a moment with a sojourn into ’99 Bottles Of Beer’ (which thankfully goes no further than one verse).  ‘I Told You I Was Crazy’ begins with a Victorian-esque slow waltz, which speeds up only to lurch back into a super slow sludge groove, topped off with l’enfant terrible vocals; it works to great effect.  Away from the mid-section, ‘City Dump’ is excellently heavy and ‘Stick ‘Em Up Bitch’ brings a noticeable change of pace, dipping back into the realms of hardcore punk.  ‘Dr Mule’ and ‘Dogs & Cattle Prods’ are the weakest links but they don’t detract from an album that’s on the whole, a return to form.  You get the sense los tres cabrones had a good ol’ time making it and that Buzzo has plenty more material up the sleeves of his black flannel dress.  Happy 30th Birthday Melvins!  (7)
LAURA JAYNE

 

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