Melvins - A Walk With Love And Death album review
Washington experimentalists dial up the weird
If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed Melvins’ records getting more ambitious over the years. Enter double album A Walk With Love And Death – half Melvins release proper, half art film soundtrack, and truly a tale of two parts.
Despite bandleader Buzz Osborne describing each of the releases as “benchmarks”, it’s difficult to understand how album Death and score Love work as one. In its finest moments, Death is as seductive as Melvins have ever been. Sober-dellic is replete with sombre noodling and wry nihilism, while Euthanasia’s thundering dirge is comfortingly familiar. But Death isn’t without its surprises. Take, for example, the thumping What’s Wrong With You?, which trades sleazy sludge metal for snotty indie rock, or Christ Hammer’s Beatles-esque chorus.
And then comes Love. Forty minutes of sprawling, unapologetic noise; disembodied, manipulated voices; and, from out of nowhere, jingles that could have been lifted from Friday night TV. It’s brilliant in its bizarreness, but whether it fits in the context of Death will divide opinion.
Melvins have made exactly the album they wanted to. The result? This is one for dedicated followers only.