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Rock - Verschenen op 26 februari 2021 | Ipecac Recordings

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As the years turned into decades, grunge forecasters the Melvins became more and more mercurial in their overall concept of where the band began and ended. Prolifically released albums took the form of wild collaborations with outside guests or lineup switches denoted by variations to their name, like "Melvins Lite" or "Los Melvins." Los Melvins were an incarnation including founding Melvin King Buzzo, longtime mainstay Dale Crover, and original drummer Mike Dillard. Working with God reunites this lineup (also sometimes referred to as "Melvins 1983" due to Dillard and Buzzo's 1983 formation of the band) for an album that includes returns to the band's early, sludgy power as well as some of the goofy juvenilia and lighthearted freakery of their 2010s output. Goofiness kicks things off as the album starts with a foul-mouthed parody of the Beach Boys' oldie "I Get Around," rewritten as "I Fuck Around." Despite the Melvins replacing the original lyrics with F-bombs whenever remotely possible, it's a pretty faithful cover, complete with better-than-expected falsetto background vocals. There are more acid-damaged moments of weirdness, like the demented introduction to "Brian, The Horse-Faced Goon," and the hard rock guitar antics on speedy songs like "Hund" and "Bouncing Rick." The best moments on Working with God are the ones where the Melvins lean into the syrupy, nauseous, downtuned proto-grunge they perfected on albums like Ozma and Bullhead. The slow tempos and simmering tension on tracks like "Caddy Daddy" and the lurking dread on "The Great Good Place" are classic throwback Melvins, but the album is padded out with riled-up outbursts like "Fuck You" and the truly bizarre choice to end with an a cappella cover of the barbershop quartet standard "Goodnight Sweet-Heart." As they approach 40 years of existence, the Melvins are still the masters of their own depraved domain. On Working with God, they flippantly experiment with ridiculous ideas only to effortlessly lay down some songs as heavy as the ones they were making before Nirvana left Sub Pop. With nothing to prove and never having seemed too concerned about impressing anyone, the Melvins continue to take their wild-eyed chaos anywhere they choose -- Working with God goes to some places that are strange and unforeseen even for them. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 3 mei 1991 | Boner

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Punk en New Wave - Verschenen op 5 juli 1989 | Boner

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 31 augustus 1993 | Atlantic Records

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 27 september 1994 | Atlantic Records

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Rock - Verschenen op 15 oktober 2021 | Ipecac Recordings

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One of the reasons the Melvins remain vital and productive as they approach 40 years as a band is they've never been afraid to try new things and give themselves fresh challenges. However, after a certain point, one begins to run short on new things to try, and their desire to push themselves out of their comfort zone sometimes takes them down blind alleys. This is the case with 2021's Five Legged Dog, which marks the first time the band, known for their crushing volume and downtuned heaviness, has recorded a full-length acoustic album. Perhaps thinking that wasn't novel enough in itself, they have has also made it an epic-scale career overview, featuring new interpretations of tunes from their catalog, as well as a handful of covers, in a marathon production that clocks in at two-and-a-half hours. For a group that's traded so heavily in volume throughout their career, Five Legged Dog finds the Melvins sounding game and committed to this experiment, and guitarist Buzz Osborne, bassist Steven McDonald, and drummer Dale Crover seem especially happy to try out vocal harmonies that would normally get lost over the sound of the overdriven amps and piledriver percussion. The details of McDonald's basslines and Crover's drumming are naturally a lot more clear in this context, and their playing reveals a welcome nuance, showing off sides of their music that they can't normally put into focus. However, while Osborne is a talented guitarist, he's not as interesting on acoustic player as he is on electric, and the textures and dynamics that are second nature in his usual performances are absent here. The simpler, low-volume arrangements also make it pretty clear that these songs were never meant to be heard in this fashion, and they haven't been able to recast them in an acoustic form that gives them force enough to compensate for the lack of volume and punch. The final nail in Five Legged Dog's coffin is its length: 35 or 40 minutes of this music might work as an experiment, but 150 minutes is numbing, especially given the lack of straightforward melodic hooks in the Melvins' songbook. The covers of numbers like the Turtles' "Outside Chance," the Rolling Stones' "Sway," and Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talking" end up being standouts because their relative simplicity, melodicism, and concision are reinforced by the acoustic trio treatment, while the sprawl of the Melvins originals only muddies the waters performed in this format. It's honestly admirable that the Melvins were willing to take a big risk with an album like Five Legged Dog, but the finished product fails more than it succeeds. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Rock - Verschenen op 13 november 2020 | Ipecac Recordings

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 1 maart 1992 | Boner

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 30 mei 1992 | Boner

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 30 mei 1992 | Boner

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 30 mei 1992 | Boner

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 12 juli 1996 | Atlantic - Mammoth

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Rock - Verschenen op 10 oktober 2006 | Ipecac Recordings

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Rock - Verschenen op 6 mei 2013 | Ipecac Recordings

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Rock - Verschenen op 11 december 2020 | Ipecac Recordings

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Rock - Verschenen op 22 januari 2021 | Ipecac Recordings

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Hardrock - Verschenen op 31 mei 2019 | Joyful Noise Recordings

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Rock - Verschenen op 23 augustus 1999 | Ipecac Recordings

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Rock - Verschenen op 1 juni 2015 | Ipecac Recordings

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Rock - Verschenen op 7 maart 2000 | Ipecac Recordings