Ahhh… it’s finally that time of the year again; it’s time for another almost-annual Melvins release, and in no way should any of you be disappointed. The constant flow of work from King Buzzo and crew should be a welcome relief to all; no matter how bad mainstream music becomes over the years, you can always count on the Melvins to put out an exceptionally heavy and unique set of songs in a very habitual fashion. For a group that has as much creative energy as these guys do, consistent releases are a welcome affair; new material almost year after year is a mind-blowing experience for all fans. Each album in the Melvins’ library assumes the form of a strange and chaotic episode that chronicles the state of mind of the band during each recording. The Bride Screamed Murder finds the sludge pioneers delving into more progressive overtones, meaning curious and curiouser.
Opening the album is a song filled with marching beats, drum fills, and harmonized shouting. “The Water Glass” is an excellent way to begin The Bride Screamed Murder because it presents some bright innovation, meaning strange vocalizations and constant changing drum patterns are the way of their future. This album sees all four members shouting into a microphone as if to rally some sort of wacky response; one will shout while the others, in unison, repeat what was said. These parts are perfect for live shows and will definitely provide for crowd interaction.
“Pig House”, almost progressive in its musical complexity, shows off even more of the clever vocals when Western-esque whistles and tribal chants are thrown into the chaotic fray. The Melvins, in the past, have experimented with vocal abnormalities, but this is the first time in a long while that listeners can actually hear the group having fun with its experimentation.
The Bride Screamed Murder starts off strong but pummels its way towards an even stronger middle section and conclusion. Dale Crover and Coady Willis, the two drummers in the band, never settle on just one drum beat; instead, they keep a constant assault of drum fills and syncopated change-ups flowing, allowing for Buzzo’s guitar work to truly shine. Oh, and did I mention how cool the opening to “Electric Flower” is? This is the Melvins at the top of its nutball game.
After finally sitting down and listening to this beast, I can safely say that Nude with Boots, the studio effort before this one, felt like a sort of B-sides collection. The Bride Screamed Murder is a true continuation in the legacy of grade-A sludge-metal records that the band has already masterminded. It has everything a true fan could ask for: high energy, crazy antics, and inspired experimentation. I even feel a new Melvins listener could get a pretty satisfying taste of what the band is genuinely all about. This one record should inspire new listeners to check out all past masterpieces and help them develop a true appreciation for the intense individuality found within the Melvins’ camp.