Melvins
Tres Cabrones


4.5
superb

Review

by PsychicChris USER (61 Reviews)
November 21st, 2013 | 26 replies


Release Date: 11/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Melvins' album with Mike Dillard is as hard to recommend to new listeners as ever but makes for a surprisingly enjoyable listen.

Coming off the heels of 2012’s Freak Puke and the Everybody Loves Sausages cover album, Tres Cabrones is the latest in a series of the Melvins’ odd lineup experiments. Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover are still here but Crover has been moved to bass duties to make room for original drummer Mike Dillard’s first recording with the band in decades. The resulting effort doesn’t betray the sounds set up on their most recent outings but does offer up its own set of tweaks.

With this lineup being the Melvins’ most conventional in over a decade, this album’s sound is somewhere between the laid back rock of Freak Puke and the chaotic noise on their Big Business collaborations. The guitar is the most dominant instrument as Buzzo’s signature riffs and odd structures define many of the songs on here. Dillard’s playing doesn’t quite match Crover’s bottom heavy tone and Crover himself isn’t a flashy bass player, but the rhythm section is quite adequate with Dillard in particular offering a more punk-influenced approach.

And even though most of the songs on here were previously released on a few different EPs, they all feel cohesive as a whole and go through a neat cycle of styles over the course of the album. It starts off with a series of heavy straightforward rockers, progresses to more experimental jams, and then ends on an energetic note with a couple punk covers. A few goofy recitals of traditional songs also pop up as interludes of sorts; it’s a rather odd move but one that would’ve been much less fun in the hands of another group.

The first three tracks may be the album’s most powerful as “Doctor Mule” provides some strong bursts of swagger while “City Dump” and “American Cow” feel like they could’ve been part of their early 90s repertoire. From there, “Psychedelic Haze” does have an appropriately groovy set of riffs and the one-two punch of “Walter’s Lips” and “Stick ‘Em Bitch” closes things out quite nicely.

Overall, Tres Cabrones is as hard to recommend to new listeners as ever but makes for a surprisingly enjoyable listen that is quite refreshing when compared to the more underwhelming releases that have come out this year. Some songs do feel like they should be heavier and one does wonder how the “main” lineup would’ve sounded playing this material, but the actual writing does make it worth checking out. I still think Melvins Lite may be the better trio but this works as a heavy alternative.

Highlights:
“Doctor Mule”
“City Dump”
“American Cow”
“Psychedelic Haze”
“Walter’s Lips”

Originally published at http://psychicshorts.blogspot.com



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user ratings (59)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
sonictheplumber
November 20th 2013


4629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet

conesmoke
November 20th 2013


5241 Comments


sweet review, pos'd. I heard a track or two when it first came out, sounded quite straightforward for melvins. wither way, melvins rule \m/

StallionMang
November 20th 2013


5834 Comments


Review doesn't quite match the rating, but pos'd anyway.

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greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2013


7421 Comments


Good review. I don't like it as much. Awesome band, though.

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AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2013


7363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I like this more than I expected. It's pretty direct by their standards, but sometimes that makes a refreshing change.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2013


4443 Comments


I downloaded this a while back, but still haven't got around to hearing this yet. Good review though. Going to spin it today.

icatchthirtythree
November 21st 2013


332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great stuff on here, love Dogs and Cattle Prods especially. I agree that the drumming is kinda weak though compared to Dale's and I wish it had a bit more of a punch.

HenchmanOfSanta
November 21st 2013


1882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is far from a 4.5, but I can't help but love Tie My Pecker to a Tree.

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FearThyEvil
November 21st 2013


12629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That track is so pointless and pretty unfunny.

PsychicChris
November 21st 2013


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I get 99 Bottles of Beer stuck in my head quite frequently.

InbredJed
November 21st 2013


6076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

saw 3 of these songs live last month, and fit in nicely with their other stuff.

Dale and Coady drummed it too : )

evilford
December 12th 2013


22828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So are Jared and Coady on hiatus?

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PsychicChris
December 18th 2013


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not that I know of. They're still playing with Dale and Buzz but are focusing on Big Business while the Melvins are trying out different lineups.

InbredJed
December 18th 2013


6076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ya Melvins are just super busy. Jared had a kid apparently, so he's just taking a bit of time off. They are only doing something like 30 dates in support of this album.

Coady played when I saw them on this tour, so I got to see Houdini and Bullhead tracks with 2 drummers m////

evilford
December 30th 2013


22828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this rules, long live melvins

evilford
January 2nd 2014


22828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

American cow is so m/ damn these dudes still got it

InbredJed
January 2nd 2014


6076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They never lost it, just got better with age

evilford
January 2nd 2014


22828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

heh well idk if their stuff now could rival stoner witch or gluey porch but yeah they still rule

AcidCaravan
February 27th 2014


255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

For the very first time since I follow Melvins, since the early 90's, this is the first time I got really disappointed. Dunno...So sad. Hope in the next one tho..

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qiblas
February 27th 2014


387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

City Dump all day!



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