Album Review: Melvins – The Bride Screamed Murder

May 7, 2010
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Melvins - The Bride Screamed MurderTitle: The Bride Screamed Murder
Artist: Melvins
Label: Ipecac
Released: 1 June 2010
In one word: Magnificent

Listening to this, I have but one question to ask myself:  Why the hell has it taken me so long to listen to a Melvins album?  Both as a band and as individuals, they’ve had strong associations with some of my all-time favourite artists, not least of all Jello Biafra and Mike Patton, and I have all THOSE albums so…WHY?!  Oh well, I guess I’ll give myself the benefit of the doubt, because after all there are SO many bands yet so little time… at least I’ve finally discovered the Melvins, and I must say, they fucking ROCK.  And then some.

This album is not only exceptionally well written and performed, managing at once to have a freshness while still keeping the ol’-fashioned spirit of rawk n’ roll well and truly alive, but is also exceptionally well produced, and frankly an absolute joy to behold on headphones:  It is spacious and at times layered, without ever being cluttered, and the album as a whole is an excellent example of how to get a lot of ideas onto a record without it ever sounding unduly cluttered.  The musicianship is quite breathtaking for a band generally dismissed as mere “punks”, and drummer Dale Crover is frankly stunning; as an occasional drummer myself, it’s great to hear drums that have the space to breathe so freely in the mix (including the occasional “drum solo” of sorts – “Evil New War God” is especially astonishing in this regard – but never any that overstay their welcome a la that tiresome Bonham fellow from Led Zeppelin)!  Just magnificent, really. A hilariously slow Doom Metal-esque cover of Who classic “My Generation” tops things off very nicely.  Well done, lads.

I understand now how and why these gentlemen came to be the Godfathers of sludge-rock…and can now spy a big, black hole in my CD collection, right in the middle amongst the “M”s.  Anyone have a complete set of Melvins CDs they wanna get rid of cheaply…?

© Michael Bowser, Music Vice

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15 Responses to Album Review: Melvins – The Bride Screamed Murder

  1. Ralph on May 7, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Yeah, this album is a nice comeback especially after the last album.

  2. Michael Bowser on May 11, 2010 at 7:14 am

    In that case, I’ll buy all the OTHER ones first, haha…

  3. Mike on May 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    “The musicianship is quite breathtaking for a band generally dismissed as mere “punks”.” Who, in the past 25+ years, has dismissed this band as “mere” punk? You’re writing reviews of heavy music having never heard Stoner Witch or Houdini? First/last time I ever read this piece of garbage site. This isn’t a review – it’s a paragraph describing how woefully underqualified for your job you are. Way to go.

  4. aaron on May 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Yes I do have a full collection of Melvins albums and no I don’t want to sell them. I am so glad to hear that they are gaining new fans. You have no idea what you are in for. One album is the tip of the gigantic Melvins iceberg. If you start collecting now you are in for one hell of a summer of great music that will never cease to surprise you. Welcome to the fold, friend.

    Also I am sure you are aware of Fantomas, being a Patton fan. King Buzzo plays guitar with them as well.

  5. Michael Bowser on May 14, 2010 at 4:34 am

    I of course am well-familiar with Buzzo’s playing via Fantomas, as well as the Fantomas/Melvins Big Band project and their Jello Biafra-fronted albums, but apart from that, yes my education is clearly lacking. However to Mike: I have heard NUMEROUS people, both in the flesh and in the reviewing world, refer to them as “punk” of one form of another. Dearie me, I seem to be copping a lot of flack for using that word lately hahaha; perhaps I should just drop it from my vocabulary altogether, except when referring to bands such as The Ramones (who, in their day, of course hated the tag as much as just about any other band worth two shits!)…and oh, I clearly must have missed class the day my university course in “Heavy Music 101” did the unit on The Melvins. Damn!!

  6. callahan09 on May 14, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I like you Mike. I forgive you for not giving the Melvins your attention until now. But please, fix this injustice.

  7. Matt on May 14, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    You realize Mike that this lineup has TWO drummers (their last couple did too)? Buzz and Dale are joined by Jared and Cody from Big Business. The Melvins are truly awesome and this sounds like another winner!

  8. Michael Bowser on May 15, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Matt: Holy crap my friend, you are indeed right, I stand corrected! I’m sure that when I saw them live many years back they only had the one, so when I looked up the album credits fer this one I completely glossed over the fact of the dual drummers…’scuse me while I go find a nice hole in a desert somewhere to stick my head down, in shame o’ course (and my apologies, and “props”, to Mr Coady Willis)!!!!!

    And Callahan09: Consider the injustice fixed. Well, at least once I get some damn MONEY in my wallet, heh…

  9. CCwright on May 25, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Once you get into them you cannot stop. I picked up a used CD of Houdini years ago and was addicted from that moment on. I’ve collected and cherished all their work and am looking forward to the new album. The melvins for me were an exposure, an eye opener as to where music could go if artists stayed true to their craft. They kick ass!

  10. Polyhead on June 13, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    I doubt you find anyone that has anything melvins related to get rid of. We sell that stuff out of sheer desperation. I already miss my Eggnog EP.

    No, you’ll have to fight for them like the wrest of us, and, bad news for you, the atlantic records stuff is out of print.

    Tell you what though, you can have My Melvins stuff when I’m dead, but that will be the only way you get it.

  11. Michael Bowser on June 14, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Cool! Cheers, Polyhead 😉 Nice to be included in someone’s will just for writing a review…the perks, the perks, the perks, I tell ya!!!

  12. R-Laz on July 13, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Excellent review mate, really interesting to see someone as excited as I was when I finally got into Melvins with a BANG with (a) Senile Animal. Oh and I also recommend the last album, Nude With Boots, it’s really old school zeppelin-y stuff, me like! Heard a few songs from the new one and definitely picking it up after reading the reaction it had on you Mike. Happy head bangin’!

  13. R-Laz on July 13, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Oh and on another note; the Melvins started out as a punk-outfit so yes, they are generally viewed as punks more than virtuoso-wankers 😉 See them live. Now.

  14. Michael Bowser on July 14, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Cheers, R-Laz! Actually, oddly enough I HAVE seen them live once, years back…it was when they were supporting Fantomas and Tomahawk, so while I missed the beginning of their set I was suitably impressed by what I did see. But alas – and I have no excuses here – didn’t buy any of their albums ’til some time afterwards! But fret not, I’m slowly getting into ’em now (VERY slowly, since I don’t have much cash to spare at the moment, hahaha)…

  15. Michael Bowser on July 17, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Okay, just a quick message to all the doubters: Just bought a copy of “Houdini” (it was cheap, and so am I), and yes, it’s awesome. So cheers to all the people who urged me to “catch up” on their back catalogue, and should I be brave enough to do another Melvins review when the next album comes around, rest assured I shall be doing so from a more “educated” perspective, hahaha..!!

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