By Christine Leonard
Human cannonballs The Melvins are back, less than a year after taking a contemplative Walk With Love & Death, King Buzzo Osborne and company are ready to present their latest album, Pinkus Abortion Technician.
Dueling dual bassists are the backbone of this eight-track lysergic flashback, thanks to the twinned talents of The Melvins’ current bass player, Steven McDonald (Redd Kross, OFF!), and part-time Melvin, Jeff Pinkus, who is best known for his work with experimental psych-punks Butthole Surfers.
Indeed, a languid hat-tip to the Butthole Surfers’ 1987 album Locust Abortion Technician is built into the title and fabric of this new work which comes some 30 dirty years after its namesake appeared on the Touch and Go label. A much smoother, more capable and sophisticated vision of the guerrilla recording sessions that landed Locust on Kurt Cobain’s Top 50 Albums of All Time, Pinkus Abortion Technician is an immaculate conception of the rock and roll mind.
The band’s affection for big red ‘70s rock amperage shines through on “Break Bread,” which commands a stadium-worth of power cords and ballsy lyrics. Add to this a jubilant, and nearly over-the-top, cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (by some unknowns), which continues the party even as it dissolves into a glorious silly string, backbeat freakout. Dipping below the waterline the quartet enjoys a good wallow in the slippery passages of “Prenup Butter,” an oily track that lopes along at a heavy but woosy stride, constantly shoulder-checking for the impending sucker punch.
Capping things off, a spirited, delinquent rehearsal of Butthole Surfers’ lugubrious face-melter “Graveyard” flicks the switch to maximum underdrive. Spasmodic riffs, battered percussion, flagrant basslines and most-welcome Melvins’ group-shout choruses rekindle the energy that emerged from that rented Austin, TX home-studio three decades ago. Loud, glamourous and chock-fulla listenable tunes, Pinkus Abortion Technician is the ideal foundation for The Melvins’ upcoming chain of live engagements.Ipecac, Pinkus Abortion Technician, The Melvins