Since 1983, the Melvins have, in some form, been creating music. Since then, they have managed to inspire, mold, and sculpt the underground heavy music scene, defining the sludge, doom, grunge, and hardcore punk genres. Their discography is immense, heaving with the consistent efforts of a band that has refused to slow down when it comes to producing music.
In addition to this, the group has had a rotating shift of musicians that have helped create a variety of sounds, textures, and approaches. This has allowed them stay fresh, while also remaining somehow nostalgic in a way. This latter aspect of the band has been supported in recent memory with the assistance of members of the Butthole Surfers, initially starting on their 2014 release Hold It In . Now, their collaboration with Jeff Pinkus again has spawned a full on album of topsy turvy tumult that is at once catchy and idiosyncratic, which is exactly the type of good news that Melvins fans the world over look forward to hearing.
For this latest full-length, Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover asked Pinkus to pair with Steve Macdonald to perform double bass. As Buzz pointed out in interviews leading up to the release of this album, it's not the first time the band have utilised dual instruments, but it is their first time having dual bass players. The strength of The Melvins is that they are able utilise these instruments without it becoming a gimmick; it instead adds to the texture of the music. On this album the empowered groove trudges through heavy riffs, imprinting memorable harmonies and melodies into the listener’s psyche along the way. The sweltering atmosphere on “Don’t Forget To Breathe” offers up the easiest example of this, while also offering up a nuanced accompaniment of what sounds like Chinese guitar along with other synth patterns and noise experimentation. It’s a dirge, but manages to tread right along with glee, much like the rest of the album. Each of the eight songs is an irreverent example of instrumental freedom and doom-laden heaviness merging with catchy melody and unhinged exploration.
Watch the band’s “Embrace The Rub” video just below.
The only thing that's missing is a stand-out track. During the Big Business collaboration years, it was “A History Of Bad Men,” a song that is so foreboding and heavy that the show True Detective used it as the soundtrack for a sinister biker gang bar in the Bayou. During the early 90's, it was songs like “Night Goat”, “Honey Bucket”, “Revolve”, and “Boris” that now act as templates for sludge and doom bands alike. After all, the latter track’s namesake was used by Japanese doom legends Boris as homage to the pioneers of their genre.
While there are contenders for this sort of distinction on the album, such as their raucous cover of The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, and “Stop Moving To Florida” (which is a composite of covers of “Stop” by James Gang and “Moving To Florida” by Butthole Surfers), this is an album that rewards the listener for the whole package instead of offering standalone performances. However, with that said, the mood of Pinkus Abortion Technician is worth the time invested, and any fans of the band will be pleased to catch them live on their ten-week North American Tour kicking off at the end of this month.
Pinkus Abortion Technician Track Listing:
01. Stop Moving To Florida
02. Embrace The Rub
03. Don't Forget To Breathe
04. Flamboyant Duck
05. Bread Bread
06. I Want To Hold Your Hand
07. Prenup Butter