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Melvins Pinkus Abortion Technician Ipecac

By the time you get round to releasing your 20-second studio album, you’re going to need to look for new ways to keep things fresh. Melvins know that, which is why, for the insensitively-titled Pinkus Abortion Technician, they drafted in eponymous Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus to join the band’s own Steven McDonald in what they describe as “an experiment in the low end of the aural spectrum.” Accordingly, this is the most deeply groove-oriented Melvins album in quite some time, and that cuts both ways; the likes of the guttural Embrace the Rub seem gimmicky in their deployment of the dual bass players set up, while closer Graveyard puts them front and centre in a way that neglects the rest of the instrumentation and leaves the track feeling directionless.

On the other side of the coin, though, Break Bread is all thunderous, riff-driven swagger, whilst the epic Don’t Forget to Breathe is among the finer examples of how well Melvins can do intense slow-burners. Opener Stop Moving to Florida – which is a mashup of James Gang’s Stop and Butthole Surfers’ own Moving to Florida – is a fun enough diversion, but the real treat, and a surprise one at that, is an irresistibly heavy take on The Beatles’ I Want to Hold Your Hand, which the band play almost entirely straight to endearing effect.

It seems that Melvins are going to be churning this stuff out forever. But as long as they’re having this much fun, that might be no bad thing.