Album review: Melvins – Working With God

Sludgy alt.rock legends Melvins keep it heavy as they revamp their original line-up.

The original is always lauded as being the best, and in the case of sludge legends Melvins this certainly rings true. The 1983 line-up of Buzz Osborne on vocal and guitar duties, Dale Crover handling bass and Mike Dillard behind the drumkit, without the aid of additional musicians, is an iteration of the band that has only ever been seen once before on 2013’s Tres Cabrones. Working With God revives their earliest formation for a second time with a predictably huge sounding end result.

Kicking things off with an adaptation of a classic Beach Boys’ song, crudely titled I Fuck Around, the trio waste no time in setting their intentions. From start to finish, in true Melvins fashion, this record gives off an air of being both intensely chaotic while laid back to the point of not caring. For example, this opus features two songs called Fuck You, one of which is just an 11 second scream – it seems almost 40 years of dishing out heavy hits has done nothing to dull their sense of humour, and the fact that they had a great time writing and recording this material is evident in how much fun it is to listen to. 

As with the rest of the Melvins’ lengthy back catalogue is that the guitar takes centre stage for the duration; enormous, bouncy riffs lay the foundations of every song like a wrecking ball, while Buzz’s vocal delivery adds a leisurely juxtaposition to the breakneck speed of the instrumental dynamics. As far as sludgy, frenzied noise rock is concerned, there are few who do it better than Melvins, and Working With God is tangible proof.

Verdict: 4/5

For Fans Of: Mr Bungle, Mastodon, Big Business

Working With God is out now via Ipecac.

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Posted on February 19th 2021, 10:22a.m.
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