In case you’re wondering about the title, the Melvins have been through about as many bassists as Spinal Tap had drummers—although we’re still waiting for one to spontaneously combust on stage. It’s also a lesser-known fact that King Buzzo once blew off backstage passes with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme because he had Dodgers tickets. So, how many players are on this bassball team, anyways?
There are six of them, actually, including former Melvins Jared Warren, Trevor Dunn and JD Pinkus—guys you might know from Big Business, Mr. Bungle and the Butthole Surfers, respectively. Dale Crover actually plays bass on a fistful of tracks here, as does Steve McDonald (of Redd Kross fame), who took on the four-string duties for their recent tour with Napalm Death. Oh, and there’s some guy named Krist Novoselic who plays on one track. I think he was in some band called Nirvana or something…
McDonald leads off the bassing order with “The Decay of Lying,” a slow, bluesy tune with some downright doomy riffage. Warren goes from first to second on “Choco Plumbing,” a more traditional mid-paced Melvins stomp. This one even has a brief bass solo around the two-minute mark. Crover first goes up to bass on “Beer Hippie,” another slow number with some eerie atmospherics backing a solid, crunchy bass line.
McDonald’s back on bass, but I’m not sure who’s playing synths on “I Want to Tell You,” an old-school glam-rock number that sounds a little like The Sweet. Pinkus’ contribution, “Captain Come Down,” sounds like it couldda come off the last couple Melvins records—with a killer tempo change two-thirds of the way through its three-minute runtime—while Dunn hits a home run with the standup basslines on retro-rock acid jam cum jazz odyssey “Planet Destructo.” Batting cleanup, Novoselic hits a weak comebacker to the pitcher on “Maybe I am Amused,” a weird little accordion-driven ditty.
Fittingly enough, the album ends with a Casio keyboard rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Wait, shouldn’t that be played after the seventh inning?