Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 1:42 p.m.
The Hype: It's hard to imagine what kind of hype the Melvins would need after almost three decades of albums under their belts. Of course the world could always use a heaping helping of atonal explosions from this prolific pack of sludge metal shredders. Though The Bride Screamed Murder is the latest addition to the Melvins' discography, their ability to capture the gritty angst of pre-'90s grunge has remained solid to this day.
The Judgment: Storming in with a wild and woolly barrage of drum line percussion, the Melvins give their new record a ceremonious--albeit long-winded-- opening with "The Water Glass." Though the band isn't known for their serious demeanor (remember; they're led by a guy who calls himself King Buzzo), the first few minutes of The Bride Screamed Murder opens with a full-throated military call and response as the band shouts "We are ready!" That pretty much lets you know that the band is set on keeping things as gruff and tough as possible for most of the record. The theme carries evenly into the second track, "Pig House," with machine gun drumming courtesy of Dale Crover and Big Business drummer Coady Willis (who joins fellow Big Business bandmate Jared Warren for their third album with the Melvins since 2006).
The band hits their full sonic stride towards the middle of the album, as tracks like "I Finish You Off" and "Hospital Up" buzz and wail with lofty vocals, epic guitar swells and plodding percussion that is about as good as anything they've released in the past decade. If you're looking for a dramatic change of pace from the band, you won't find it here. Then again, fans of the Melvins are likely not going to whine about that. However, though the album only has nine tracks, the last two songs--a lurching cover of the Who's "My Generation" and the painfully boring "P.G. x 3"-- make it feel a lot longer. In fact, just skip those tracks altogether. You won't miss them.