Melvins ‘Tres Cabrones’ (Ipecac)
The Melvins’ “Tres Cabrones” loosely translates to “three dumbasses,” but don’t be fooled — the Washingtonian native sons have never been Beavis and Butt-head, couch-potato types. They’re one of heavy music’s most productive, influential bands, and have been for some time.
This summer, singer-guitarist Buzz Osborne and multi-instrumentalist Dale Crover celebrated 30 years of downtuned riffs and screwball pranks, and “Cabrones,” their 19th LP, is a victory lap of sorts.
The 12-song set, which reunites the core duo with original drummer Mike Dillard, has the spirit of early days spent bashing it out in a rural Northwest shed, interspersing textbook stompers (“American Cow”) with gnarled slow-burners (“I Told You I Was Crazy”) and irreverent covers (“You’re in the Army Now,” “99 Bottles of Beer”).
Like all Melvins output, “Cabrones” is sludgy, fun and plenty weird, albeit less essential than 1991’s “Bullhead” or 1993’s “Houdini,” the best starting points for new listeners. At this stage, Osborne and Crover seem content to make records primarily for their longtime fans, and this particular offering is probably best filed under “for completists only.”
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Various Artists, “Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War” (Ato)