The Melvins are one of those bands that mark significant moments in your life with album releases. Like your own taste in music, they always seem to experiment with varying sounds while sticking to the roots. Since the 90′s they’ve been on the tips of everyone’s tongue in the alternative music scene (remember when it was called that?). From their earliest work, to the most abstract experiments, the Melvins have been on top of the game, releasing albums just about once every three years. Something that’s matched by none of their counterparts from the era. Expectations are the achilles heel for the Melvins; some of their fan base wants one thing and others, another. What makes the Melvins such a dynamic band is that they surprise all of their fans and defy expectations.
The Bride Screamed Murder is just that; a defiance of expectations. While it’s no Honky, it’s certainly the Melvins, in the flesh. The same heavy-as-shit, wacky group that pissed your parents off growing up is back to tickle your nostalgia in your 30′s. One thing I will say about The Bride Screamed Murder is that you can’t simply pick it up as your first Melvins experience. You have to spend time listening to moments from their entire catalog. Houdini, Stoner Witch, Stag and Hostile Ambient Takeover are just to name a few albums whose overtones are carried over to The Bride Screamed Murder. I had to even revisit them to fully appreciate the album because the first track threw me a curve ball.
“The Water Glass” starts off heavy and slow, akin to the sound the guys helped curate for over a decade. From there, it turns into a military-esque bootcamp chant. I think in literary terms, that’s called foreshadowing because it may just be my interpretation, but there’s a lot of war symbolism in The Bride Screamed Murder. “Evil New War God” brings out the Buzz that we’ve all come to love. His signature sneering and precise voice is legendary at this point. You can’t go wrong with this track. It’s pure, unbridled rock. From here, we’re brought into the “Pig House”, a track filled with more of Dale Crover’s heavy-handed percussion orchestration. There’s so much classic rock whoreship going on here. Riffs and jams straight out of Zeppelin and the like. From the classics to the heavily-demented comes “I’ll Finish You Off”, a blackened-rock with an evil and demented tint. This was the Melvins I came to love. Back when Buzz would cameo with Tool and the name of the game was quasi-series Satanic overtones.
The Bride Screamed Murder is filled with a ton of instant-classics. Take “Electric Flower” and “Inhumanity and Death”, two powerhouses of the album. For fans of the slow and heavy, there’s “My Generation” and for fans of just the slow there’s the album ender, “P.G. x 3″. For those of you who have been long-time fans of the Melvins, The Bride Screamed Murder is a must-have for your collection. For me, it spawned a revival in my music rotation. It’s time to bring out some of the classics and revisit the band that I grew up loving and hiding from my parents!