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The quirk is back! - 82%

olo, June 4th, 2008

Rejuvenation doesn't come too often for rock bands. UFO had to get Vinnie Moore to put out good albums again and Benton had to get rid of the Hoffmans with similar results. Though both King Buzzo and Dale Crover had been doing the Melvins thing alongside a thousand other projects, which admittedly did yield some classy releases but some uneven ones like the Jelvins, their rejuvenation occurred when they found the bass-drum duo called Big Business.

It resulted in (A) Senile Animal, an album that featured the band's most accessible and song oriented material till date. Though Buzzo did seem to quote his own previous riffs on a couple of occasions, the album was a total winner. With two drummers sharing part of their drumkits, going unison at times and going batshit crazy whenever they felt like, really elevated the band's material. Add to that, the dual vocal approach meant that the insane vocal phrasing just got doubly so.

Nude With Boots, the follow-up to (A) Senile Animal is precisely what a follow-up should be for a band with such a long and intriguing career. While the dual drums and the double vocal attack are both still in place, Melvins are doing a few things differently. It's back to being more experimental and quirky reminiscent of the Houdini days. They've toned down a bit on the drop-d chug and a lot of the guitar riffs and the sounds are straight out of 70s hard rock. Even their more plodding The Savage Hippy has psychedelia going on, and old school written all over it. The drums aren't as insane as on the previous album either. You do have songs driven by drums and you do have amazing interplays and rolls, but the last album had many songs ending in this mindfucking manner with drum rolls coming from two hard-hitting mofos, hard panned for glorious effect, and that flavour is slightly but definitely missed here.

I keep going back to songs like The Kicking Machine, Billy Fish, Nude with Boots and Dog Island. The rest isn't bad or anything, but these stand out clearly along with the surprise cover of the theme from The Shining titled Dies Iraea. The meandering songs towards the end mean the ones that you immediately dig is all right at the beginning. After over a month of sitting on this album and playing it over and over, I still feel the second half is weaker in what's overall a damn good Melvins album yet again.

Originally written for http://www.kvltsite.com