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Melvins - The Bulls and the Bees (Cover Artwork)

Melvins

Melvins: The Bulls and the BeesThe Bulls and the Bees (2012)
Scion AV Metal

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Melvins are getting better and better and better and better. Since the band became a quartet six years ago, critics inside and outside Melvins fandom have complained that the band had lost its essence. If the band's new free online EP The Bulls & The Bees doesn't change the naysayers' minds, than no.
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Melvins are getting better and better and better and better. Since the band became a quartet six years ago, critics inside and outside Melvins fandom have complained that the band had lost its essence. If the band's new free online EP The Bulls & The Bees doesn't change the naysayers' minds, than nothing will.

The Bulls seems to function as a microcosm of the Melvins' trajectory to date. Opening with "The War on Wisdom," the band kicks out low end, energetic, massive sludge rumbling that feels as much like a heavy metal guitar as it does a rumbling tank. Of course, being the Melvins, they don't confine themselves strictly (or at all) to the tenants of sludge metal, and immediately add in weird elements such as a guitar mimicking a hand saw, abstract lyrics and group choruses that are as much metal as they are barbershop quartet.

"We are Doomed" gives a nod to the Melvins' first musical leap by dropping into a lumbering, slow drone, while vocalist Buzz Osborne wails over top. However, as with the opening track, the song is malleable and the evolution continues throughout the album. For instance, "A Really Long Wait" is more post-music concrete, about around the harmony of medieval church, giving the music both a holy ambiance and unholy menace.

Most impressive is how far the band travels in a mere five tracks. Over the course of 22 minutes, the Melivs survey their career, modify the past and go in new directions. The Melvins have always been experimental, but they have never been this compact. Is this a reaction to the economy of music? Possibly. While the band might reference bees on the title, their knack for survival against all odds makes the coach-roach seem a more fitting totem.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
alicesmith (June 19, 2012)

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johngentile (March 20, 2012)

I think they actually are still together. About 10 months ago, Big Biz was on a tour, and Melvins decided to do about 6 shows with just Buzz, dale, and Trvor Dunn on acoustic vass as "Melvins lite" They recorded some material at that time and will release the Buzz/Dale/Trbor material as Melvins Lite "Freak Puke." However, Big Biz is still with the melvins. "Freak puke" is just a one off side project. I suspect the next melvins LP will be with big biz.

MN_DrNick (March 20, 2012)

Thanks for clearing that up.

Interested in knowing why now they aren't together.

johngentile (March 20, 2012)

Actually, I'm fairly certain Big Biz was on this one. They will not be on the next one, titled "Freak Puke."

MN_DrNick (March 20, 2012)

I really liked this.

Also should be noted I'm pretty sure Big Business wasn't involved with this.

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