I pity people who aren’t fans of The Melvins because you are missing out on some of the most forward thinking music ever made. Sure on the surface it is just really loud and really progressive rock n roll that is rooted in sludge and hardcore punk but once you delve deeper into the entire Melvins discography you’ll find just how much sonic territory the band has covered. The Melvins are the band who Tool claim as one of their biggest influences. Mastodon bow down to the power of The Melvins and just about any band in the past 20 years who have mixed hardcore punk, sludge and added prog rock and experimental flourishes to the template have The Melvins to thank. They are that influential as a band and along with Fugazi is a band who I define as the perfect example of indie rock.
“Freak Puke” is their 19th Studio album (well 55th official release if you include EPS, Live Albums, Compilations and Collaboration albums) and we find the band returning to their three piece line-up. Although the previous line-up (which includes Jarred Warren and Coady Willis) is still in existence this is a diversion for the band and has been released under the “Melvins Lite” moniker. We see the return of Trevor Dunn who this time round is playing a Stand-up Bass.
“Freak Puke” is full of all of the great sounds that have coloured The Melvins rock n roll language. This time round the sound is altered by Dunn’s Stand-up Bass which adds a new level of mood and heaviness. It also gives the record a very percussive feel with a big focus on the rhythm section which helps shape a new sound for the bands usual brand of sludge.
This is a great record and continues the Melvins commitment to sonic evolution. It is brimming with new ideas and also gives you a dose of the Melvins we all know and love.
Fuck You, if you don’t like The Melvins you’ve got no taste.
10 cassette tapes out of 10
By Dan Newton