Melvins’ New Album Loaded with Quality

King Buzzo’s Band Still Going Strong on 24th Album, ‘Basses Loaded’

There’s something refreshingly low-tech about the Washington group’s 24th album. Vocalist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover remain the only constants across 33 years. Basses boasts several bassists, including Red Kross’s Steven Shane McDonald and Nirvana’s Kris Novoselic (also on accordion!). The sludge rock doesn’t get sludgier than on the dirge-y opener “The Decay of Lying” and “Beer Hippie,” nor more melodic than their cover of the Beatles’ “I Want to Tell You” (ending with in-joke lyric, “The walrus was Steven”). Opening with a Cowboy Junkies “Sweet Jane”–quality percussion, the trippy “Planet Destructo” segues from The Brian Jonestown Massacre outtake to bebop. They also goof on old chestnuts “Shaving Cream” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Traversing between punk and metal yet handcuffed to neither, King Buzzo’s band still delivers something fun and alive.


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