Freak Puke - The Melvins

19 June 2012 Music

Freak Puke - The Melvins

Few metal bands would be able to pull off an album that features upright bass, cello and a drummer playing with brushes, but for the Melvins it just seems like a natural extension of their already bizarre discography. Featuring a level of moody malevolence unheard since the group’s major-label send-off, Stag (1996), Freak Puke is a menacing and somewhat disturbing affair from start to finish, despite coming from the American quartet’s three-piece ‘Melvins Lite’ configuration. While ‘A Growing Disgust’ and ‘Leon vs the Revolution’ are fairly standard metal numbers, more peculiar outings like ‘Holy Barbarian’ and the sprawling ‘Tommy Goes Berserk’ really make the record work. Taking on a far looser and more elastic approach than usual definitely suits this stripped-down album, as does the greater focus on dynamics and ambience. The highlight, however, is the rendition of the Paul McCartney and Wings classic, ‘Let Me Roll It’, which sums up everything that is good about the Melvins in four-and-a-half minutes of peculiar, distorted sludge.

Matthew Woodward

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