[CD Review] Melvins, 'Nude With Boots' (Ipecac)

Melvins are done screwing around with electronic music and are officially back to casting the darkest shadow in the world of heavy music. Well, not as dark as those Norwegian black-metal dudes who actually sacrifice animals and people, but theirs is a weird and humane darkness nonetheless.

Kurt Cobain's favorite band (Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover have been going at it nearly 25 years) are feasting on the young blood of their rhythm section (Jared Warren and Coady Willis of LA's smiling-hardcore outfit Big Business) for a second solid album. (A) Senile Animal (2006) sounded like a ton of bricks being stirred by two pile drivers, but Nude With Boots flashes out into speeds the notoriously sludgy Melvins have only tried (and succeeded at) on their recent records backing Jello Biafra. Point is, this is not your flannel-wearing riot grrrl's Melvins; this is faster (mostly), and the two-drum combination is astounding.

Rhythms constantly tumble into themselves, catalyzing a huge start to the opener, "The Kicking Machine," which builds from ramshackle to dizzying in a euphoric rush of heavy riffs and pummeling intensity. Melvins have always been cathartic, but now it's as if they've loosened the tourniquet and the songs are gushing forth. Nude With Boots features more lively riffs than Buzz has ever dropped—Dave Mustaine must be crying like he did in the Metallica therapy movie because he didn't write the lead on "Suicide in Progress," and the opening bars of "The Stupid Creep," taken out of context, could've rocked the Sunset Strip in 1989. The last couple of songs sink back into that creepy sludge pool of psychosis that will only resonate with longtime fans, but really, if there ever was a Melvins album to play for people who think Linkin Park are as hard as it gets, here it is.

 
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