In 1983 (The) Melvins formed in Washington to become pioneers of the genre now known as grunge. Their fast-paced punk style was grasped by their rising fan base and exploded upon the world of music. Being a late bloomer I first heard their 1993 record, Houdini, on Atlantic records and it was the highest selling record at the time… maybe I’m a bandwagon jumper. The foundations they built allowed the Seattle movement to flourish. Nirvana, in the same year as Houdini released In Utero.
For three decades Melvins continued recording and touring even though many other bands ceased to exist, these Washington natives kept this movement afloat. It’s now 2018 and the punk/grunge rockers smash the man with their affluent music with this release of Pinkus Abortion Technician. It features both ongoing bass player Steven McDonald (Redd Kross, OFF!) as well as Butthole Surfers, and occasional Melvins, attendee Jeff Pinkus on bass. With Buzz Osbourne at the helm, Dale Crover continues as the drummer since taking the mantle in 1988.
“Stop Moving to Florida” is a medley of James Gang’s “Stop” and Butthole Surfers’ “Moving to Florida”. An entertaining opener of this eight-track record, a continuation of Melvins playing how they want, something that continues through cover of The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” which shows how these guys love playing. What I like about the covers is they’ve done it the Melvins way, not copied the Beatles or The Butthole Surfers rendition of “Graveyard”.
A favourite is “Don’t Forget to Breathe” which creeps in with a slow-paced drum beat and Buzz Osbourne’s vocals adding a dark delicacy. A definite highlight, with the repetitive drum beat and the odd explosion of riffs. After “Flamboyant Duck” we get back into a heavier groove with “Break Bread”. It glides through to that cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” punk style. “Prenup Butter” is doom fuelled bass and Buzz Osbourne’s vocals are as strong as ever, showing how and why these are pioneers of punk rock.
Go old school on this record, play it loud not on public transport, but out your bedroom window and embrace the fun of making music. Whether you’re a first timer or not, go get Pinkus Abortion Technician, it’s release is on April 20th via Ipecac recordings. This is their 27th studio album… 27th!