Release Date: Jul 8, 2008
Record label: Ipecac
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Metal
Now that groups like Boris, Sun 0))) and Earth have fully exploited the doomy drone concept that the Melvins pioneered, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover aren’t content to keep pounding out the same old sludge. So the Melvins co-founders are using the extra rhythmic thrust provided by the add-on Big Business unit of bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis to take a detour into 70s metal and boogie rock, which is the most radical move they could imagine. The walloping guitar riffs that people love about the Melvins, though still present on Nude With Boots, now come with throwback effects and are generally at a faster grind.
As indicated by the "Good Times Bad Times"/"Moby Dick"-esque drum-and-guitar power jam that blasts off the opening song, "Kicking Machine," the majority of Nude with Boots showcases the Zeppelin meets Sabbath in a dark alley, classic rock side of the Melvins. Rather than toying with excruciating sonic noise like some of their more experimental discs (Pigs of the Roman Empire, Colossus of Destiny), or continuing down their road of deconstructed doomsday drones -- a sound they pioneered, setting the pace for bands like Boris and Sunn 0))) -- they stick to frank, bludgeoning stoner rock. The result is yet another crushing platter in their extensive discography that's meant to be cranked to the max.
For a band that's spent most of its career playing largely the same riff faster and slower, the Melvins have made it work. After a few questionable efforts, 2006's (A) Senile Animal brought them to the brink of thud-rock catchiness, and Nude With Boots, their second effort with Big Business' Jared Warren and Coady Willis, continues to muscle up that foursome, the BBs proving the long-lost rhythm section to drummer Dale Crover and guitarist Buzz Osborne. "The Kicking Machine" opens with Zep double-drum thunder in the red while vintage Buzzo guitar snakes along, but "Billy Fish," "Dog Island," and "The Stupid Creep" are fairly standard-issue chugga-chugga, leaving the middle section a bit limp.