Review Summary: The 2nd installment in this album trilogy while sometimes entertaining is for the most part, sub-par and should only be looked at if your a die-hard Melvins fan.
The Melvins have been a large part of the underground grunge scene since the late 80's and while over the years they have been signed to a major label, the Melvins have yet to break through to the mainstream. Although this is probably for the best seeing as a large part of mainstream music is described best in one word "crap", not the best of words but that's what it is and if you turned on the radio or MTV, you'll most likely see why. The Melvins are known for their quirky and unique experimental sound they bring to grunge (or sludge, if that's what you call it. I call it either/or) for a long time now with mixed results. Some have been great (Houdini, Stoner Witch) Good (Senile Animal, Ozma) and even Bad (Honky, Prick). But a few select Melvins records lie in the Sub-par category mostly their ambitious but ultimately flawed trilogy of albums "The Maggot", "The Bootlicker", and finally, "The Crybaby" Today we will be looking at the 2nd installment in this ultimately disapointing trilogy "The Bootlicker"
The Bootlicker starts of well enough with "Toy" a brief, but enjoyable song followed by "Let It All Be" Probably my favorite song off the record, if you can't tell by now (and you might not be able to due to the fact we are only on track 2) that this record has a much more mellow sound then previous Melvins records which has either consisting of a full on Metal assault or weird experimentation. This works both for and against this record. While It makes a new refreshing sound for the band, it also makes the overall music more boring. "Black Santa" is an example of this, while it starts of fairly promising about half way in I felt the urge to skip to the next song which is something I tend not to do. The next few tracks also have this vibe to it as they are sometimes interesting and sometimes uninteresting. "Up the Dumper" fares better then the previous song with more interesting vocals even though they are standard Melvins fare. It's one of the few tracks where the down toned sound works for it.
After that track we are over the halfway point of this record where I tend to lose interest, "Mary Lady Bobby Kins" is yet another farely dull track, while not bad it doesn't really bring any interest to the album as well. "Jew Boy Flower Head" is another downer, as the Melvins aren't able to keep interest with their longer songs which should be more refined then the shorter ones which for the most part are more entertaining (with the exception of "Let It All Be". The song isn't a complete loss as it starts off well but it literally seems like it's stuck on repeat as it preety much doesn't change rhythm for the entire song. "Lone Rose Holding Now" fares slightly better with a more compelling bassline then previous songs as well as just being more easy to listen to without succumbing to boredom.
The album ends with "Prig" which starts off with some farely odd sounds that sounds like Dan Deacon mixed with kittens on Cocaine. While it is odd, it is also one of the more compelling intros to a Melvins song and is one of the better tracks on the record. After a while like most of the tracks, it tends to wear thin but just as this happens it stops and some drums and acoustic guitar break in which would seem to bring an end to the album but as the track fades away you can hear a brief sample of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" which is the first track off the final installment of this trilogy "The Crybaby".
So how is this album as a whole" Well while it isn't great, and at times not even good it is still a decent record to put on if you want your mind to wander. While not the best of compliments, that's all I really can say about this record. Following records have disappointed as well although the last record "(A) Senile Animal" is one of their best bet due in part to having the member's of "Big Business" (another favorite band of mine) join them. While I highly recommend you give that record a listen (that is if you enjoy Metal or the Melvins) I can't really say the same about this. Give it a listen if you like the Melvins but you may not be happy with the result.