“Wake up! C’mon!” The Melvins’ latest is one of the best. Along with the characteristic strangeness, humorous/profound nonsense, and plodding, fuzzed-out heaviness that define Melvins’ sound, there are a few tracks here that have definite mass-appeal potential. In simpler terms, this album fucking jams, Melvins’ sound very Melviny, and the rest of the rock-loving world just might get it. A few numbers on this eleven-song release revive and redefine the vivacious energy and sound of hard, classic ‘70s rock, while the others meander faithfully through the erratically-creative, vast, and often creepy mindspace of guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne. Track one, “The Kicking Machine” sounds as if Led Zeppelin tried to sound like Melvins, (not the other way around.) That rockin’ tune has uber-infectious and punctuating Jimmy Page-like guitar riffs, John Bonham-like drum beats and fills…all with BIG, important-sounding delivery. It’s BIG because the band continues on with Big Business members Jared Warren on bass and Coady Willis drumming alongside (almost) founding member Dale Crover. Some of the material is dark and cacophonous such as the Alice Cooper-ish “The Savage Hippy” and downright nightmarish like “It Tastes Better than the Truth” and “Dies Airea.” But it’s the straight-on, rock-hard ‘70s influenced tunes like “Billy Fish” and “Suicide in Progress” that will keep most listeners hitting the replay button. Sehr gut!
–Marcus Solomon (Ipecac)