Nude With Boots Import
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. The Kicking Machine|
|2. Billy Fish|
|3. Dog Island|
|4. Dies Iraea|
|5. Suicide In Progress|
|6. The Smiling Cobra|
|7. Nude With Boots|
|9. The Stupid Creep|
|10. The Savage Hippy|
|11. It Tastes Better Than The Truth|
2008 release from the long-running Alt-Rockers, recorded in Los Angeles earlier this year, the eleven track album cements the resurgence of The Melvins.. In 2006 the Melvins released (A) Senile Animal, some 24 years after they started the band , one of the best received records of their career. The album marked the end of a revolving door of musicians with the very welcome annexation of Jared & Coady of Big Business. The refreshed quartet, now featuring double drummers, graced the cover of The Wire, received a 5/5 in Alternative Press, a 9/10 in Revolver and favorable comments from Pitchfork. Now the band returns with Nude With Boots.
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The Kicking Machine, at 2'44", gets things started. Yes, that opening guitar line is almost pop, but don't ignore that the song started with a gunked out drum noise and chime. If the Melvins have learned nothing else from many years of knowing Mike Patton, it's how to never miss a chance to put some odd bits together. Harmonized vocals ("little horned animals"), and up-tempo drums crisscross through the guitar lick for a bit before the "real" riff starts off; one of those marvelously non-4/4 seeming things kicking along with its unpredictable but oh-so-right changes. Boom-boom-boom, and it's over.
"Billy Fish," at 3'52", starts with a bunch of rolling drums that go on long enough to give you ample time to imagine 5 or 6 different riffs to come--but as usual the one that arrives hearkens more back to the Melvins' Houdini than anything you might have imagined. But even this proves to be a dodge; when the vocals finally set in, with Buzz's still excellent-sounding voice, the sound is grungy, buzzy, and kicking along at a grinning hyena-lope. Certainly, the endless quest for a bassist has finally been answered. Verse-chorus, and suddenly everything stops to go back to the opening drums; they weren't an introduction after all. A repeat of the buzz-grunge follows, but morphs into something completely new for the last minute of the song, though the new bit seems to follow inevitably from the front part. How do they make it all make sense?
"Dog Island," at 7'32", time-wise suggests a sludgy epic, and the opening *boom* and fuzzy down-tuned guitars and occasional tweaked high notes that escape the speakers seems to bear this out. (Check out the yummy tube-amp/Les Paul sounding notes oozing around.) Truthfully, the lick itself is probably worth the album--one of those chugging things with accents in all kinds of throat-grabbing places that only the Melvins seem to know how to do consistently. And if it just kept this up for 7 minutes, it'd be awesome enough, but at 3'20" suddenly the base drops an octave, the guitars start wailing (and you recognize where you sense this riff from, "The Maggot"), as it scoots into something else. Suddenly the bass drops again, and the vocals come in with all kinds of reverb, the sound-guy slides up the volume slider--epic begins to occur. At around 5'45", the band try to find their way out of the mood they've created, more or less, ending on the predictable cliche of drums, but the journey was still worth it.
"Dies Iraea," at 4'33" (funky spelling notwithstanding) is actually a cover of a Catholic medieval chant, the famous "Day of Wrath." (You'll know the melody, famously deployed at the beginning of Kubrick's "The Shining".) I'd guess Mike Patton suggested they cover this, but it's done with all the slow oozing power that the piece deserves, including a trailing off noisescape that manages to invoke "The Shining". (For all I know, maybe they're covering that movie's soundtrack.) At the very least, it's a stark contrast to the music that's gone before.
"Suicide in Progress," at 4'46", (if it's stoner rock at all) is mightily accelerated, but aficionados, please note (what would be) the extraordinarily complex guitar line for a stoner-rock outfit. For the first 90 seconds of the song, you might think it was a prog-rock instrumental, changing time signatures and all. Comes the full-stop, and then possibly a restatement of the song at 1/4 speed now, and a texture like many songs on "The Bootlicker". (Lyrics: "There's a little animal" ... a return from the first song? To be fair, Buzz's lyrics may make sense to him somehow, but one of the enduring joys of the Melvins is the total incongruity of the words; it's amazing Buzz can remember them.) Fade-out ... and suddenly, a brief quasi-industrial noisefest ... because that's how a proper Melvins song is put together.
"The Smiling Cobra," at 3'42", drives immediately through your forehead with another jumping, shifting guitar line intermixed with a few power chords to try to get a grip on, but generally it smashes around, off-beat accents and all, straight-ahead growling vocals ... all in the first 90 seconds. So of course you need a guitar solo then, and then morph away into a completely new riff. (It's the sound of the guitars, in particular that's so satisfying here.) You could mistake this for "typical" stoner rock, but not with headphones on.
"Nude with Boots," at 3'35", starts out more thumping drums, and then an exceptionally poppy/friendly guitar line. (Check out the bass guitar, though). And stays there ... surprise. I'd swear this was a cover, or not written by Buzz/Dale. What follows, "Flush," at 1'07", is a noisescape. Now, this is a review, not an analysis, but since (for me) "Nude with Boots" is the least satisfying song on the album for me, I find it charming that the next song flushes it, as it were. If nothing else, the swing from "pop" to "noise" couldn't be more apt as a contrast. (In an unforgivably interpretive mode, I have this dim suspicion "Nude with Boots" and "Flush" are references, maybe in title alone, to Sabbath's "Fairies Wear Boots" and "Fluff".)
"The Stupid Creep," at 1'30", gets a lot done in its 90 seconds, but is mostly a palatte-cleanser of aggressive guitars and slithering bass lines that ends before it seems to start. Guerilla punk-sludge.
"The Savage Hippy," at 3'34" (contrasting with the stupid creep somehow?) is a mini-epic--huge drums boom incessantly, while down-tuned bass creeps around at unusually low subsonics--cymbals fill the sound with white noise, lyrics (sneer-howled) are buried in the miasma, while the guitar churns out power chords and string-scratches. A huge fish-flopping death-wail, and another reason why one needs to buy Melvin albums. The "chorus" (if you can find it) pays for the disc.
"It Tastes Better than the Truth," at 5'20, closes the album with martial drum, distorted mincing vocals, rising and falling skysaw guitars, and miscellaneous screams over the top. In the sense that this stew repeats to the end, it's a drone, and belligerently anti and satisfying; certainly a toothy-grinned way to end an album, but still nice enough to be programmed out when its charms wear thin.
Bottom line. If you liked "Senile Animal," you'll almost certainly like this. If nothing else, over the years, the Melvins have gotten better at making themselves sound awesome on disc--"Ozma" and "Bullhead" sound almost like novelties. Major-label recording maybe taught them the tricks; Ipecac has (continued) to give them all the leeway they need. Results: another worthy step forward in the Melvins canon. (And for any who wonder why they keep at it--watch Buzz playing "Dog Island" and you'll see; the fire is still there. And it here too.)
"The Kicking Machine" is a strong set opener that boasts heavy, bobbing guitar hooks and tastefully-catchy, sing-songy vocals anchored by really dexterous, energetic, and polyrhythmic drumming. "Billy Fish" has a booming, reverberating drum intro before the crunchy guitars and gloriously memorable clean vocals come in, as does a bit of deft, driving, speed punk drum slamming. "Dog Island" wouldn't be out of place on a Bongzilla or Eyehategod record, as it is a gem of pure stoner metal. The band's doomy, punching, Black Sabbath-y riffing and monstrous power chords come smashing through the mix. And the song is further highlighted by some extremely catchy vocals -- including a vocal effect that is used to excellent effect -- and a cool, martial drum roll to end.
"Dies Iraea," with its plodding tempo, ominous, echoing guitar chords and quick, rolling drum fills, could be the soundtrack to a funeral. It is immediately offset, however, by "Suicide In Progress," which is an up-tempo and punk-flavored number with a Motorhead-style, heart-racing speed punk beat, hefty, chugging riffs, solid, grumbling bass lines, and Megadeth-ian vocals. "The Smiling Cobra" work similarly, as its aggressive, fiery, Sabbath-on-steroids riffing and depressively grumbling bass comprise a very thunderous and imposing rhythm. A noisy, shredding guitar solo is also included, here, as is a concert-ready shout/sing-along part. "Nude With Boots" (the song) returns the album to its stoner metal-esque roots, with sludgy, droning, distorted guitars and bass. But it is the drumming that is of particular note, here, as this song also features some excellent, pummeling drums -- including a booming, bouncy, tom-heavy drum intro, and impeccable cymbal rides.
The final handful of tracks are curveballs of sorts. "Flush" is a hauntingly quiet and ambient interlude track of sorts, contrasted by "The Stupid Creep," which is an 84-second long blast of punk-y garage rock. "The Savage Hippy" is another terrifically trippy -- and, at times, almost industrial music-lite -- number, and so is the closing "Tastes Better Than The Truth," which has a pounding, banging, reverberating drum beat, a strong, humming bass line, and sound effects that are just plain odd and unsettling.
Just about everyone -- especially newcomers -- has two or three better and more essential Melvins releases to devour before picking up "Nude With Boots." But that should certainly not take anything away from this album, or imply that it is anything less than a strong, impeccably solid, and all-around satisfying sludge metal gem from the genre's innovators/gods.
This is really something special, and I don't mean special needs... sort of opens in the spirit of Mr. Bungle but takes off into it's own directions.... while others have compared this to other Melvins titles, I gotta say that as a casual listener I was instantly hooked on the better half of the material here.... Nothing that I had expected. If you are new to school, jump right into this one, crank up the stuff.
In 2006, the Melvins added the rhythm section of Coady Willis on drums and Jared Warren on bass and vocals with the release of A Senile Animal. This rhythm section along with Jared's contribution to vocals was a great addition to the Melvins sound. It was a ballsy and raw record but at the same time, the most precise and focused Melvins record I have ever heard. I saw them on that tour before I heard the album and was blown away!
Nude With Boots is an extension of A Senile Animal that refines their sound even further. It has some fine playing, and songs covering a variety of styles without getting too weird.
I have liked the Melvins for a long time but on most of their releases, I wish there was a little less experimental or ambient type stuff. The songs on the new disc are hard rocking, cohesive and cool. Don't worry old Melvins fans, even being a little less weird, it is still undeniably a Melvins record. Nobody sounds like them. I personally hope they keep pushing in this direction.
If you're already a fan, you probably know what to expect. The rock stuff is great, parts of it almost Zeppeliny and there's a little bit of cowbell. Some of the experimental stuff reminds me a little of the Pigs of the Roman Empire record with Lustmord. The title track is very commercial, too bad modern rock radio doesn't exist anymore.
Like the other reviewer, I've only listened to this once but I'll be playing it a lot in the coming weeks. Make sure you pick this up. And check out Mighty High...In Drug City while you're at it.