Release Date: Jun 3, 2016
Record label: Ipecac
The Melvins have a penchant for oblique album titles. You need look no further than The Bride Screamed Murder, Lysol, and Houdini for that. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s note worthy that the band is so direct on the title to their latest album (and second in 2016!) Basses Loaded. Both of the main Melvs, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover, are big fans of the national pastime, so the album not only pays homage to the duo's other passion, but draws an interesting parallel to the bandâ€™s current manifestation.For the past five years or so, the Melvins have maintained their core base of Osborne and Crover while basically swapping bassists in and out on an inning per inning basis.
Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover are the only permanent members of Melvins, the bass player slot being something of a revolving door. Nine of the songs included on Basses Loaded are collected from previous releases; four from Melvins 1983’s Beer Hippy EP, four from the War Pussy EP, and one from the Chaos as Usual split with Le Butcherettes. All in all, the album features the talents of six different bassists: Dale Crover, Steve McDonald (Redd Kross), Jared Warren (Big Business), Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), Trevor Dunn (Mr Bungle) and Krist Novoselic (Nirvana).
When the apocalypse comes and the globe is wiped clean, all that will be left behind will be cockroaches and Melvins. They’re a band that seem to continuously weather the whims of the music industry and personnel changes. Never really straying far from the path of righteousness that is in-laid with huge riffs, they’re still cranking out albums and new material at a phenomenal rate after all these years.
Having trouble keeping that 20-year marriage afloat? Stuck in a mind-numbing rut? Have no idea how to keep your life fresh? Allow me to point you towards the Melvins. Now in their 29th year as a band, the group has released their new album Basses Loaded, and they still sound as vigorous and full of fresh material as they did as when they sprung out of the cold corner of Washington in 1987. Known for delivering virulent, doomy stoner rock that never sounds overly familiar since the grunge era was in its cradle, the Melvins, notorious for switching bass players and having a constantly rotating lineup, decided to just go ahead and use six for this go-round.
True to its title, Basses Loaded is, well, loaded with bassists — six to be exact: Jeff Pinkus, Trevor Dunn, Jared Warren, Dale Crover, Steve McDonald, and Krist Novoselic. Don’t let your jaw drop to the floor just yet though; the concept isn’t as crazy as it sounds. The first four players have all served as rotating members of The Melvins’ low end, and the last two are longtime associates of the band.
New album with six bassists, including Krist Novoselic. The germ of this album seems to have come from a session in which Dave Grohl was supposed to join the Melvins, only to fail to turn up, to the profound chagrin of Buzz Osborne. Krist Novoselic, however, did turn up, and he features here on Maybe I Am Amused, an accordion hoedown that’s only the second silliest track on the album after their concluding version of Take Me Down To The Ballgame.
Washington’s Melvins have been an almost ever-present fixture within American alternative music since they emerged back in 1983, with a brand of sludgy, monstrously heavy grunge. They’ve never quite ascended to mainstream status, but their place within the pantheon of US rock is firmly secured - which allows them to do whatever the hell they want, just like they’ve always done. Take ‘Basses Loaded’ as an example; an album that features no less than six different bass players and an abundance of riotous Melvins spirit.
Like the great American filmmaker William Castle, the Melvins have learned that a gimmick is a big help in getting folks to pay attention to what you're doing. The grunge pioneers have a long, rich tradition of creatively rearranging their membership, and for a band obsessed with a thick and heavy low end, they've taken the logical step and made an album with a rotating lineup of bass players. Basses Loaded feature six different bassists scattered among its 12 tracks, including Steven McDonald (of Redd Kross and OFF!), Jeff Pinkus (from the Butthole Surfers and Honky), Trevor Dunn (Mr.
It's hard to think of a band that's gotten more artistic mileage out of a consistent sound than the Melvins. Since their debut Gluey Porch Treatments almost three decades ago, the Melvins have barely wavered from the lumbering adamantine groove that made them so hugely influential on countless grunge, sludge, and alt-metal acts. At the same time, the group's nucleus, frontman Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover, have jumped at opportunities to experiment for the better part of their history.
By now, you know whether or not you like Melvins. The sludge-metal titans are kingpins of low-ended, experimental music at his point. A 2016 release, or even two, probably won't change your opinion on them, be it a positive or not so positive one. "Loaded" with six different bass players, their 24th studio record really isn't the monotonous beast it threatens to be, and feels a little lukewarm given its abrasive imagery.
For a genre whose fans are so often labeled (sometimes rightly) as rigid constructionists, metal’s last few years have been marked by an unprecedented burst of boundary-pushing experimentation. While there are still staunch traditionalists, many of metal’s best minds are now dedicating ….
For nearly three decades, Dale Crover and Roger “King Buzzo” Osborne have been the de facto Simon And Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, or Hall & Oates of sludge metal’s underground universe. Quite simply, no other pair could lay claim to such a weirdly incongruous moniker than the Melvins—a band that’s tirelessly reinvented itself in ways both freaky and bizarre since its 1987 debut, Gluey Porch Treatments. The only constant governing the band’s immense catalog—158 releases and counting—is the inclination to shun repetition in favor of occasional kitsch.
The Melvins don’t seem too interested in winning over new fans with their various lineup changes over the past decade. They just appear to be looking for an excuse to jam with their friends and former bandmates. And that inclusive mentality is clear on their suitably named new record, Basses Loaded, which features six different bass players throughout its 12 disparate new songs.
The very fact that the Melvins still exist, albeit it in whatever form perennial pig-head King Buzzo chooses on any particular day, should be a cause for constant celebration. Not only are they the last of the so-called ‘proto’-grunge acts still standing without requiring a post-rehab reunion (or ‘the last band standing’ as Krist Novoselic describes them in the trailer for upcoming documentary The Colossus Of Destiny), they seem to have been permanently afflicted with whatever the polar opposite of writer’s block is since 1986. With their new effort and the recent delayed release of Three Men and a Baby (recorded with godheadSilo’s Mike Kunka back in 1999) the number of LPs the band has spewed out now stands at 23.