The Melvins Freak Puke

Wed 23rd May 2012


/incoming/freakpuke.jpgAs my recent luck would have it, on the same night I finally get round to listening to the free download Bulls and Bees EP, than I'm asked to review this new album from the mighty Melvins. As the excellent ninehertz review of that EP put it, you love them or hate them - and while I agree with that, and am firmly in the love camp (sounds like a nice place), those who love them have to put up with some frustrating times. Bulls and Bees is good - a pointer to why this band are still important 129 years after they began, still a force to be reckoned with and eschews the frustrating bollocks that can infiltrate their recorded output.

Freak Puke is the new album, and is sans Jared and Coady - Melvins-lite as they seem to be calling themselves here. This is a worry as the Melvins have been revitalised with Big Business in their fold, with output being more structured and stabilised since 2006's A Senile Animal.

Mr Rip Off opens proceedings, beginning with a withering violin scratch noise akin to the sensation of hundreds of insects crawling over your body, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom style. It evolves into relaxed chilled Melvins fare, without really going anywhere. Inner Ear Rupture is another violin fuck-around ear-fuck, but this time exists on it's own - pure filler and shit for it. Baby Won't You Weird Me Out again starts with violin, but quickly gets into heavier fare, a nice riff boldening the atmosphere so far thus created. But is soon dissipates, and the song mawdles. A bit of Primus-esque bass piss-about follows and as you can tell there's nowt special to recommend here. Worm Farm Waltz is the first song to grab you from the off. It's almost late-Faith No More-ish, but again the song descends rapidly and frustratingly. Chants and drums bore along before yet more violin rape. A Growing Disgust is the aptly named end of the first half of the album. It's the best so far, the nice dosed Melvins sound, with a nice rolling stoned riff, which wraps around your mind as they often can. Problem is that it's only plautitudiable in reference to what has come before.

Leon vs. the Revolution again flatters to deceive - the first half threating to take you to the rollicking latter-period band output, but without evolving it dissolves into itself. Holy Barbarians just meanders. Child like vocals and a bass strum along. It goes nowhere. The album title-track has to have something, surely - come on Freak Puke! It's got a loose punk feel but ends up sounding like a disposable Desert Sessions track.

Let Me Roll It has a weird free vibe going on, which is no bad thing, but when you're thinking of Kiss in the chorus then there's problems. Tommy Goes Berserk wraps things up, and by now I can't say I'm up for the near ten minutes it asks of the listener. Saying that, it has a nice mellow build up and then an almost Dead Meadows psych-esque trip that is close to endearing. I won't mention the futile noise samples that take up the last minute or two (while doing just that).

I've never written an album review song by song before - the mood and flow of album should be the defining characteristic to write home about. My reason to do it here was because I was so deflated and disillusioned to the collective sound that I needed to check each song by itself to confirm my suspicions; that this is a disappointing, yet oddly inevitable Melvins release that doesn't really deserve investment.


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    •  mikemike
    • Add your comments here!
    •  mambamamba
    • I haven't heard this one yet, but I have to agree with the sentiment. The Melvins are frustrating. I love Houdini and A Senile Animal but apart from that they've hardly released an album which I've listened to more than once or twice.
    •  basstardbasstard
    • Cheers Pete, you've just saved me tenner!
      Much as I love the Melvins, I find it frustrating that they can produce real gems and make it seem effortless one moment, then put out worrying amounts of what consists of little more than twatting about.
    •  Sam-O)))Sam-O)))
    • Wasn't 'Nude with Boots' their last offering? I liked that one, I was tempted by this but with it lacking jared and Cody, I guess I'll just stick to the previous releases. I've lost track of them all now, after reading this, I'm not sure I'll invest!:argh:
    •  Tino InsanaTino Insana
    • Damn, I was looking forward to a decent three-piece album. They do love to disappoint.
    •  HopkinsHopkins
    • mamba says:
      I haven't heard this one yet, but I have to agree with the sentiment. The Melvins are frustrating. I love Houdini and A Senile Animal but apart from that they've hardly released an album which I've listened to more than once or twice.

    •  Tino InsanaTino Insana
    • Every album before Houdini is fantastic, especially Bullhead and Lysol (which takes patience but is so damn rewarding). Some after are worth a listen too... Stoner Witch, The Maggot, Collosus of Destiny... Houdini and Senile Animal are definitely the most accessible, but I love the insane freaky punk stuff from early on, I don't know how they do it.