Published Apr 20, 2018Two bassists, babbling vocals and a Beatles cover so stoned it practically bleeds resin? It can only be Melvins. For 35 years, King Buzzo and Dale Crover have pulled off the incredible trick of sounding both remarkably consistent and mind-bendingly unpredictable. Bringing in Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus (their second collaboration, after 2014's underrated Hold It In), Pinkus Abortion Technician is another head-scratcher from what might as well be alt-rock's weirdest act.
Opener "Stop Moving to Florida" is a mashup/cover of James Gang's "Stop" and Butthole Surfers' "Moving to Florida," in which Buzz Osborne moans something about "potty training the Chairman Mao." Business as usual, then? Honestly, the biggest surprise is bite-sized single "Embrace the Rub," whose opening moments give us a nightmarish dystopian view of what Melvins would sound like if they grew up in sunny SoCal instead of rain-drenched Seattle. Worrying.
The only time that the two-bassist decision shines through is on "Prenup Butter," a song of banjo melodies and dizzying bass chords. Jeff Pinkus is a natural fit, as is former White Stripes low-ender Steven McDonald, but they could stand to be given more to do.
Pinkus Abortion Technician isn't going to change anyone's life, and between the Beatles and two Butthole Surfers covers, it comes across as not too serious. Certain alternative fans will find this a dream come true, but the uninitiated would do better to listen to Melvins' earlier work. Stoner Witch isn't going anywhere. (Ipecac)