July 31, 2008

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Melvins, Nude With Boots
Ipecac Recordings, July 8

Melvins have worn a few hats during their 25 years of living in the nappiest slum in the alt-metal ghetto: de facto gods of mud, punk rabble-rousers, Sabbath-heads, industrial dabblers. Surprisingly low on the mud scale, Nude With Boots is a ticket to a Warner-Bros-cartoon netherworld with Flaming Lips, old Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age and Black Flag standing as its four horsemen; on the whole, the album’s awash in the sort of kooky what-the-hell-ness that once signified the quaint combination of Butthole Surfers and microdot. “The Kicking Machine” is as much Pixies as it is System of a Down, and in fact almost seems to be a poke in the latter’s ribs, to overdraw a conclusion from the serious-joke vocal. One sorta cute thing is their continued obsession with building a better “Filth Pig,” the Ministry tune that inspired a good fifth of 2006’s Senile Animal as well as this album’s “Dog Island.” Okay, it’s really two sorta cute things, the second being a peek-a-boo to the C-student metal-up-yer-tuckus fans who enable the band to buy groceries, this accomplished by covering the foreboding opening theme to The Shining (“Die Iraea”). AEric W. Saeger