Melvins: The Bride Screamed Murder

Melvins: The Bride Screamed Murder

B+

Melvins

Album: The Bride Screamed Murder
Label: Ipecac

If, God forbid, Stripes ever gets remade, there’s a song ready to replace Bill Murray’s madcap cadence calls: “The Water Glass,” the opening track of the MelvinsThe Bride Screamed Murder. The only problem is, the extended call-and-response drum-line jam is a fun joke that doesn’t know when to quit—a criticism, of course, that detractors could easily level at the band itself. But with Bride, the Melvins have once again shored up their blown-out sound and demented sense of humor. After its so-so start, the disc settles into a grinding yet angular groove that feels as fresh and energized as anything the group released during its ’90s heyday, including the disc’s highlight, “I’ll Finish You Off,” a quasi-melodic epic dictated by its own off-kilter riff-logic. Later, the band’s guttural cover of The Who’s “My Generation” is pasted to a bassline that sounds like a demonic possession of the Sesame Street theme—which might be some kind of profound statement, even though the band itself probably doesn’t know it. The annoying, meandering noise probe that closes the album, “P.G. x3,” is as long-winded and inessential as “The Water Glass.” But in spite of those flimsy brackets, The Bride Screamed Murder is one hell of a marching order.