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melvins.pngThe Melvins
Nude With Boots – July 8th release date.
Ipecac Recordings
Overall Rating: 10/10

You might think that – coming from the band who’s 24 year career has been successfully grounded on doing the same thing over and over – from extensive touring efforts to an arsenal of 25+ album releases in which every effort maintains the unmistakable Melvins sound (and yet each effort is as well, more delectible than it’s predecessor), you might think that eventually the band would reach a road-block. Eventually, you might think that the band would lose steam, change their miracle formula, and drop a bomb-shell of an album; finally disproving the fact that ‘holy hell, these guys are an unstoppable force!‘.

Well, apparently aside from having the very best drummer active in the industry today (okay, maybe tied a bit with Dave Lombardo and Terry Bozzio, both of whom King Buzzo has been brilliant enough to work with on FantÙmas) as well as the only vocalist guitarist out there who’s talent matches his amazingly epic and ridiculously large hair; the Melvins really are unstoppable….and possibly immortal. At least, I hope they’re immortal because a world without the Melvins is a world I would prefer to leave behind in a space-ship just to watch it explode (I’m actually kinda close to that point right now – if it weren’t for the Melvins, you’d all be gone, all of this wouldn’t exist; so count your luck…and maybe try to get science working on those clones).

….Moving on. You may think I’m certifiable (and there’s a tiny bit of truth to that), but check this – you know how they always say ‘first impressions are everything’? Yes, of course you do because they’re always saying it. Anyway, I was never fond of first impressions, mostly because they tend to lean toward the conclusion that I’m a little beyond eccentric…in my experience I haven’t found first impressions to be very unquestionably, undeniably true. With that thought in mind, I put that cd in and set myself up to be only mildly impressed, or worse.

The album’s first track, ‘The Kicking Machine‘, opens to the sound of (what I can only assume is) a line of percussion recorded into a muffled microphone that is slowly uncovered to reveal the full, unmistakable sound of Dale Crover working the drum kit, with King Buzzo expertly adding the guitar and vocale while Jared Warren fills in on the bass. It was as if I’d discovered music for the first time, again. ‘This can’t be serious…‘ I thought, my soul still scarred by such insults from formerly highly respected musicians as Chris Cornell, with his disappointing solo efforts (and I’m not even gonna touch on Audioslave here). ‘The album still has plenty of chance to let me down..‘ continued the cynic in me.

Well girls and boys, nobody ever likes to admit they’re wrong, particularly in a public forum; but you know…I was wrong. Dead wrong. Nude With Boots continued to “wow” and impress at every turn, and before I even knew it, the cd had cycled through all 11 tracks and started itself back on ‘The Killing Machine‘ on repeat; and remained in the player literally for days as I found myself reluctant to listen to anything else.

You may find this all a lurid exaggeration (I once read somewhere that King Buzzo described the Melvins’ music as ‘music for people who hate everything‘, and it made sense then, that I would erupt into fits of joy any time the Melvins’ existed was re-introduced to my attention) but really – let the album do the talking. Give it a listen; if you’re not instantly impressed (or at least a little hooked), go back to listening to Korn, or Hannah Montana, or whichever revoltingly industry-processed spewing of pure garbage that you prefer, because clearly you haven’t a clue what real, decent music is.

The Melvins are set to release a FantÙmas-Melvins Big Band DVD sometime this summer/fall, and are currently opening a tour with dates already set in the United States and Europe. For more information/tour dates, check any of the following sites: Ipecac Recordings, Melvins MySpace, Melvins Official Site.

-Kim Worpek