Melvins – Pinkus Abortion Technician

Rating

The Melvins are to bassists what Spinal Tap is to drummers. After recording with no fewer than six bassists on their last album, fittingly titled Basses Loaded, they’ve now employed two permanent four-stringers on this release—Steven McDonald of Redd Kross, who was part of their last tour, and Jeff Pinkus of Butthole Surfers fame, who has also played with them in the past. (Word has it that both bassists will be part of the touring lineup this time around.) What’s more, there are two Butthole Surfers covers on here, including a mashup between the Buttholes and the James Gang(!), along with the most bizarre cover song in Melvins history—the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

The album opens with “Stop Moving to Florida,” combining the James Gang’s “Stop” and Butthole Surfers tune “Moving to Florida.” While you’re not likely to hear these two tunes back-to-back on any jukebox in America, Buzzo, Crover and company make the unlikely mashup work… sort of. The 70’s classic rock of the former fades out completely before the latter’s noise-rock stomp kicks in. This might as well be two separate tracks, but hey.

“Embrace the Rub” picks up the pace, a 1:40 poppy punk rock tune that sounds like a cross between Redd Kross and the Dead Kennedys. “Don’t Forget to Breathe” slows things back down, a nearly eight-minute-long number that adds some bluesy accents and swirling synths to the Melvins’ typical downtempo grooves. “Flamboyant Duck” is a bit of an odd one – a light, airy tune with a prominent banjo lick and a swirling psychedelic section at the end. “Break Bread” might not be a cover, but it’s definitely got a 70’s rock vibe, and is the perfect length for an FM radio single.

And then there’s that Beatles cover. They definitely put their own spin on it, adding a nice, heavy riff to the mix, making it sound a little more like Weezer, albeit with more distortion, building up to a freaked-out, fuzz-pedal solo that definitely doesn’t sound like the Beatles. It still doesn’t beat their KISS cover of “Goin’ Blind” in my books. This song feels like a bit of novelty… but so does the rest of the album. I’m not sure if I’d even listen to any of this again.

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Tour dates

April 26 San Diego, CA Casbah
April 27 Tucson, AZ The Rock
April 29 Dallas, TX Tree’s
April 30 Austin, TX Mohawk
May 1 Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall
May 3 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
May 4 Birmingham, AL Zydeco
May 5 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
May 6 Charlotte, NC Visulite Theater
May 7 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
May 9 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
May 10 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
May 11 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw
May 12 Hamden, CT Space Ballroom
May 13 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
May 14 Montreal, QC Corona Theatre
May 16 Toronto, ON Velvet Underground
May 18 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
May 19 Pittsburgh, PA Rex Theater
May 20 Louisville, KY Headliner’s Music Hall
May 22 Nashville, TN 3rd & Lindsley
May 23 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone
May 24 St. Louis, MO The Ready Room
May 25 Kansas City, MO Record Bar
May 26 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom
May 27 Norman, OK Opolis
May 29 Santa Fe, NM Meow Wolf
May 30 Flagstaff, AZ The Green Room
May 31 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
July 12 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
July 13 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
July 14 Fresno, CA Strummer’s
July 16 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
July 17 Sacramento, CA Holy Diver
July 19 Seattle, WA Neumo’s
July 20 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
July 21 Vancouver, BC Venue Nightclub
July 24 Edmonton, AB Union Hall
July 25 Calgary, AB Marquee Room
July 27 Winnipeg, MB Pyramid Cabaret
July 28 Fargo, ND The Aquarium (Dempsey’s Upstairs)
July 29 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
July 30 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
July 31 Chicago, IL Park West
August 2 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme
August 3 Detroit, MI El Club
August 4 Columbus, OH A&R Music Bar
August 5 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue Theatre
August 6 Rock Island, IL Rock Island Brewing Company
August 7 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s
August 8 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
August 10 Englewood, CO Gothic Theatre
August 11 Ft. Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
August 13 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
August 14 Las Vegas, NV The Bunkhouse Saloon
August 16 Los Angeles, CA The Echo

Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

6.0 Rating