Federation of Freaks:
Name a band with a career spanning over three decades that contain about two dozen records, numerous mini-albums and non-stop touring. That's right! Melvins are a rare breed which not only spawned the Seattle and New Orleans scene almost single-handedly but also a benchmark to a generation of experimental heavy acts like Boris, Sunn
O))), Earth, Khanate, Neurosis, Isis, Mastodon, YOB, Eagle Twin and the likes. Hold It In is the latest addition to their ever evolving consistent catalogue.
The duo from Big Business are on a break this time around as King Buzzo and Dale Crover have opted to churn out some freaky jams with two of their other weirdo kins, Paul Leary and Jeff Pinkus from Butthole Surfers. This is not a collaboration between the Melvins and the Surfers instead Paul and Jeff are serving as the full time members of the Melvins with bringing in some of their own ideas as well.
The opener "Bride of Crankenstein" truly lives up to its name by showcasing some of the trademark massive wall of sludgy riffing. It's just so relentlessly pounding and loud that unaccustomed listeners may end up in a trauma. Oh, the lyrics, they're as wacky as ever - "What was that shit you sold me? We both know you should've told me. It got me spinning 'round the wrong way, It's gonna be a long day!" Just when you're in a mood for more of these sick, loud and freaky soundwaves Melvins troll you by becoming nonchalant and feel-good in the following two tracks "You Can Make Me Wait" and "Brass Cupcake" while the former, written by Paul Leary is a quirky almost surprising take on shoegaze with ethereal psychedelic layers and upbeat rocking melodies and reverb soaked vocals, not to mention the exuberant bluesy solo in the middle. The latter is a bit more conventional laid-back groovy punk rocker. However, the heavy returns with the noise-doom torment of "Barcelonian Horsehoe Pit" and the gigantic stoner lurch of "Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad". "Eyes on You" is a total sing-along freak 'n' roll anthem.
"Sesame Street Meat" is as meaty as its title, full of slow-burning heavy gallops, molten drumming of Crover and infectiously catchy howls of Buzzo. "The Bunk Up" offers more of the Melvins' psyched-out Beefheartian take on Sabbathian metal. They let their much acknowledged KISS influence shine on "Piss Pisstopherson" before the absolute avant-garde climax of "House of Gasoline".
Hold It In is a total package. It offers the iconic sludge of the Melvins as well as their ever-present experimental traits to the maximum. Enough said! Off to worship the King's 'fro.
Rating - ★★★★1/2 (96% on Metal-Archives)