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Melvins: Nude With Boots

C+

Melvins

Album: Nude With Boots
Label: Ipecac

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At this point in their storied careers, King Buzzo and Dale Crover of the Melvins have pretty much earned the right to sit back and rest on their laurels. And on Nude With Boots, they do exactly that. Where 2006's (A) Senile Animal, was weird, loose, spontaneous, and flush with the energy of two new members (Jared Warren and Coady Willis of the blistering Big Business), Nude sounds, well, a bit naked. Lean and not mean enough, songs like "The Kicking Machine" and "The Stupid Creep" are as conventional as anything the band has ever recorded. Even the disc's one-minute foray into ambient noise, "Flush," sounds as disposable as its name (which, granted, was probably the intended punch line). But the Melvins' crudely sublime mix of earthmoving riffs and abyssal humor doesn't quite cohere this time around; the track that comes closest, "The Savage Hippy," succeeds by sounding initially more like vintage Butthole Surfers than vintage Melvins. Halfway through, however, "Hippy" mutates into the type of crud-clogged gloom-fest that Buzzo and Crover patented long ago. Too bad it's the album's second-to-last song; even after being chased by the fairly ripping "It Tastes Better Than The Truth," it's not enough to render Nude With Boots anything more than a placeholding disc with a couple of decent jams struggling to redeem it.