The Melvins can do anything that their little heart desires and us fans will all applaud with glee. They have been a go-to punk, metal, outfit for 30+ years and have influenced a dictionary of bands along the way. They invented sludge metal, brought a dry sense of humor to an otherwise gray region of the country, and remain music monoliths in a world of broken glass. I can’t say enough about the band except that The Melvins are the real deal and continue the tradition on their newest record Basses Loaded.
Always wanting to skew their version of what an album could be, The Melvins play with 6 different bass players on this record; clearly a tongue-in-cheek jab at the carousel of bass players that have recorded with the band throughout their career. Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, and Big Business’s Jared Warren make appearances along with other notables providing each song its own gravitational pull.
“Choco Plumbing” is about as upbeat as you will ever hear The Melvins and is anchored by Dale Crover pounding the skins playing in sync with Warren. “Beer Hippie” is the exact opposite watching glue sulk down the side of a mountain. “I Want to Tell You” is a bar brawl with Thin Lizzy overtones. “Captain Come Down” is a head banging thrill ride against a wall of nails. “Maybe I’m Amused” showcases Krist Novoselic on the accordion and provides the record a new dimension and fresh take on their ever-evolving sound. “Phyllis Dillard” is as grand as Aunt Betty smoking Virginia Slims on the back porch, bee hive hairdo dancing every time she coughs.
The Melvins have never been one to make a straight rock record. On Basses Loaded, the band recreates “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” along with a similarly bouncing song “Shaving Cream” both worth the skip button.
With all that said, King Buzzo’s voice still sounds like he’s roaring in the halls of Valhalla. Add to that Dale Crover’s immediately recognizable drum clinic, and even a little jazz from Melvins Lite bass player Trevor Dunn, and you have another solid Melvins record with more to surely come in the near future.
The Melvins begin a US tour on August 3rd in Las Vegas, NV.