Review: (The) Melvins’ Freak Puke

Melvins: Freak Puke

Melvins: Freak Puke (Ipecac, 6/5/12)

“Leon vs. The Revolution”

[audio:|titles=Melvins: “Leon vs. The Revolution”]

It’s another year, another set of releases from the incomparable Melvins, whose five-song EP The Bulls & The Bees (with its Big Business lineup) preceded Freak Puke, a new full-length album as Melvins Lite with Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn.

The album is “lite” due to the streamlined three-piece lineup, and the rock riffs aren’t quite as abrasive — more in the psych, garage, and classic veins than the band’s sludgier fare. Dunn creates a much moodier, smoky environment with his bowed and walking bass, adding a jazzy and improvised element to contrast with the pure rock.

And at times, guitarist Buzz Osborne presents a sort of half-strength vocal delivery, paring down the intensity in favor of texture. It’s yet another new side of a band whose influential career has spanned three decades.

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