Many bands struggle to release that difficult second album. Some succeed, but their discography firmly sits in the single figures. This definitely isn’t the case with Melvins, as the grunge veterans have just released their 27th studio album, ‘Pinkus Abortion Technician’.
That’s right, 27.
Just let that number sink in for a moment.
Released on April 20th through Ipecac Records, the album is a joy for grunge-loving ears. The band’s current lineup is vocalist and guitarist Buzz Osbourne, Dale Crover on drums, and Steven Shane McDonald and Jeff Pinkus both on bass. Two bassists may sound a little crazy, but trust me, it works.
‘Stop Moving To Florida’ is the blast opener this album needs. Its early guitar solo and strange vocal bridge make it sound like two songs in one, giving all its got for nearly six minutes. This is where the two bass guitars really show their stuff, as the song’s final minute is plump and bouncy as a result.
Throwing a slice of punk into the mix, ‘Embrace The Rub’ is the shortest and rawest track on the album. It’s an outburst of energy from start to finish. As the only track of its type on the record, it really shows how far the band are willing to take their music.
‘Don’t Forget To Breathe’ is a lot slower, sounding almost like a comedown from the energy surge before it. The bridge allows each instrument to be properly appreciated, leading to a rounded production. Osbourne’s echo-y vocals paired with the slow pace lend something almost psychedelic to the track, and the sci-fi sounds serve to heighten this experience. ‘Prenup Butter’ follows a similar production, allowing a lot of the album to become a spacey trip.
If a grunge cover of The Beatles is something you’ve always dreamed of, then look no further. Melvins take 60s classic ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and give it a complete new edge. The vocals are still smooth, synonymous with Beatles tracks, but the heaviness and drive bring it straight into the 21st Century. A very notable and brilliant addition to the album.
Closing track ‘Grave Yard’ is a pure grunge fest, complete with thrashing drums and screaming guitar solos. It’s a wildly appropriate ending to the album.
The entire album is a 90s grunge throwback provided by flag bearers of the era. It most definitely makes the genre relevant, and adds another wonderful record to Melvins massively impressive discography.