Album Review: The Melvins – Nude With Boots

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The fantastic four have done it again, and no I’m not talking about the Marvel Comics bunch. No, something much better, something that makes your blood rush and your adrenaline pump. I’m talking about The Melvins. To bring you up to speed, there’s a new album (well, duh), Nude with Boots, and it’s first class sludge metal.

King Buzzo (otherwise known as Buzz Osborne) and Dale Crover have done it yet again. Along with the unforgettable duo are Jared Warren and Coady Willis (both of Big Business), who were on the last album (A) Senile Animal, and are probably the greatest addition to the Melvins, a band notorious for going through members like pages in a book. Granted in the past they’ve had Matt Lukin, the founder and original bassist of the Melvins, as well as Mike Dillard, drummer of the Melvins until ’84 when Dale Crover took his place, but none have been as great as the addition of Big Business.

This is where, I believe, the Melvins truly opened up and found a significant sound with meaning and drive. Don’t get me wrong, I love their work on Gluey Porch Treatments and when I first heard “Eye Flys” I thought I was in my very own cheesy, horror flick. However, I knew it lacked something. Before, The Melvins were too branched out, with too many loose ends, and there was some molding to be done.

In a sense, Big Business came in and pieced everything back together, bringing the Melvins complete and total control of what they truly wanted to sound like. When I heard “The Talking Horse” or “A History Drunks” off their much anticipated 2006 release (A) Senile Animal, it had me hook line and sinker and I was being reeled in for more.

However to be truly honest and heartfelt, I was a bit nervous when I heard they were coming out with yet another album and only three years after their previous piece gold. Was that enough time? What if all this great material I heard off of (A) Senile Animal was all chance? What if, and I stress this, they make a flop and fade away…?

Well, not to worry because Nude With Boots is a first class ticket to the ultimate sludge metal experience. Tracks such as “The Kicking Machine” are a throw back to the 1970’s, wreaking of Black Sabbath in all the greatest ways. With its small, abrupt breakdowns and hard hitting progression, one might half expect to see Bill Ward as a studio drummer on the back of the album. To save you the time looking, he’s not.

There’s not much negative feedback here, other than one minor gripe. A song such as “The Stupid Creep” really isn’t all that bad to begin with but the album could do just fine without it. It’s the runt of the pack, despite having a familiar kick. Pessimism aside, Nude With Boots is the album fans have been waiting for. With keystone songs such as “Billy Fish”, “Dies Irae”, “Suicide in Progress” and “It Tastes Better Than The Truth”, one can only hope for more out of what The Melvins have to offer.

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