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Music Review: Melvins – Nude With Boots

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With their nineteenth studio album, the Melvins are once again bludgeoning their way through a hectic and preposterously sludgy set of tracks well worthy to follow-up 2006’s great (A) Senile Animal. Capturing the band’s mid-’90s run of heaviness and eccentricity, Nude With Boots picks up right where (A) Senile Animal left off and systematically closes the deal on what could have been a killer double album.

The heart of the Melvins is, of course, the dynamic duo of Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover. This demented nucleus added Jared Warren and Coady Willis (Big Business), a second drummer, to the devilish dichotomy and came up with another full blast of crazed noise.

Nude With Boots is the result of the elements of madness combining, as King Buzzo’s command of the vocals runs a daring swath through what could be normal rock songs and the band’s consistency storms through to create a concrete backcloth that few bands could replicate on their best days.

Despite the seeming lunacy at the core of the Melvins, the songwriting is remarkably succinct and the results are always convincing. Whether they’re mining vintage ’80s thrash metal, chunks of Sabbath, or doubling up on their own innovative sound from the ’90s, the Melvins are in top form on Nude With Boots and fans of the veteran rockers will be more than pleased with the results.

The album is almost split into two halves, with the first half dedicated staunchly to that big ’70s rock shit. The lead riff from “The Kicking Machine” is addictive and carries through Buzzo’s peculiar quasi-operatic vocals gleefully. And the storming drum opening of “Billy Fish” subsides to a killer guitar portion so crisply that it requires temple adulation of some sort.

The harmonizations are also stellar, gutting songs like “Dog Island” with a sort of strange splendour that fits the hair-splitting guitar to a T.

The second half of the album contains a standard tumble into incongruity, as tracks are encased in wails and creepiness with no apologies. They still kick all sorts of ass, without question, as the title track evidences. But there’s something a little off to the tracks and the weirdness is ramped up to create several moments of marvellous aberration.

A bit of noise rock stuff rears its head to close things off with “It Tastes Better Than the Truth,” a truly remarkable and spellbinding sound-track that seems the perfect end to Nude With Boots.

With equal parts insanity and straight-ahead power rock, the Melvins have done it again with their nineteenth studio record. Nude With Boots is a gigantic rock album; it’s model music for those who like a little strangeness with their precision drumming and killer riffs.

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About Jordan Richardson

  • Bertha

    Excellent article! I appreciate the nod to the fans of the older, undeniably “MELVINS” sound. The return to these sludgy minor chords makes me like this album better than Senile. Thanks for the excellent coverage!

  • Markman

    Its true, this is the best Melvins album since Stoner Witch and Stag. Not just 1 or 2 listenable songs like some of their more recent stuff. The Smiling Cobra is my favorite track. Very Inpressive!