Nude With Boots



by AliW1993 USER (134 Reviews)
January 7th, 2009 | 25 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A hugely disappointing latest from one of the most influential bands of the past twenty years. There are moments of promise, but these are hugely outweighed by negatives.

They may not be as well known as the likes of Nirvana, The Offspring or Korn, but in terms of influence few can compete with that of the Melvins over the past two decades. The band, originally a trio from Washington can be credited as a major influence behind the entire grunge scene, most notably Nirvana, whose frontman Kurt Cobain had once auditioned for them and worked as their roadie. The Melvins have also influenced other genres such as sludge metal and doom.

The Melvins formed in 1982, playing a unique mix of metal and punk which pushed previous extremes of heaviness and speed, both fast and slow. Their debut album, Gluey Porch Treatments was one of the most influential albums of the 80’s, its dirty unpolished sound was to become one of the trademarks of the grunge genre it helped influence. The band continued to release strong material, and was snapped up by Atlantic Records in the wake of the grunge explosion in the early nineties. They released three albums for Atlantic before being dropped in 1997 as a result of poor record sales and the decline of the Seattle scene to which they were so influential. They continued to release albums of varying quality for the best part of a decade, from the difficult experiments like Honky to the straight forward energetic metal of The Maggot.

2006 witnessed an unexpected new chapter in Melvins history, as the bassist-less band merged with the guitarist-less sludge band Big Business. Changing members was nothing new, with many different bassists joining and leaving the band throughout their history, but the merging left the band with two drummers. This meant that, despite still being known as the Melvins, this was effectively a totally different band. The quartet’s first album together , (A) Senile Animal was well received by fans and critics alike, with the drumming duo drawing particular praise. Their latest release 2008’s Nude With Boots, is the sixteenth album of the Melvins career, now well into its third decade.

Despite this, there are moments on Nude With Boots where the two original members seemingly defy age and rock out with the same kind of aggression and enthusiasm present in their early work. An example of this is The Smiling Cobra, a burst of energy and punk rock spirit. Another aspect of their music that still remains are the sludgy, slower numbers such as Dog Island and The Savage Hippy, which are amongst the stronger songs here. Unfortunately, none of these songs live up to their potential, largely a result of poor songwriting.

Apart from those mentioned earlier though, there are very few aspects of classic Melvins. Instead, Nude With Boots seems to be influenced by 70’s hard rock such as Led Zeppelin. This on its own is not a bad thing, but some of the things absent were what made the Melvins great in the first place. The most noticeable of these is the lack of heaviness. Almost all of the bands greatest albums such as Gluey Porch Treatments, Lysol and more recently The Maggot have been heavy, with dense guitars and bass backed by pounding drums. Nude With Boots’ predecessor (A) Senile Animal isn’t exactly heavy either, but at least it had plenty of energy, another factor that is sorely missed here, the album becoming rather boring as a consequence. With the exception of the totally pointless Flush, there isn’t even any of the crazy experimentation that at least made some of their more recent albums interesting.

Repetition is also a problem. Some songs, such as the previously mentioned Dog Island begin promisingly, in this case with droning guitars and a simple yet effective riff. This is great first time around, but becomes very tiresome after being repeated for the song’s seven and a half minute duration. The same problems are found on It Tastes Better Than The Truth amongst others. Repetition isn’t new to the Melvins, but in the past they have at least found a way to make it interesting. However, Nude With Boots’ main weakness is how poorly the Melvins use their two drummers. On paper, extra percussion would seem like a great asset to the band. Here however, the presence of an extra member is barely noticeable, with both Dale Crover and Coady Willis following simple, rather boring beats that add very little to the music.

Unfortunately, at least one of these weaknesses is present on every song, often ruining songs that do have promise. Because of this, there are no songs here that I would even recommend downloading. Nude With Boots serves as a good example as to why bands such as the Melvins are no longer relevant to the development of music like they used to be. Yes, the album does have a couple of decent moments that bear some resemblance to their superior early material, but these are few and far between on an otherwise dull offering. The only people that should buy this are the big Melvins fans, some of whom may find at least some enjoyment. Otherwise, it would be best to avoid this massively disappointing release.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
January 7th 2009


Although I love Grunge, The Melvins are hard for me to get into. As much as I respect their hugely influential style on other bands I never really enjoyed them much. Nice cover. I can't really say anything about this band since I haven't delved in their discography for years. Great review you go into detail through the problems that incorporate within the album. Positived +

January 7th 2009


I thought this was pretty decent.

January 7th 2009


Repetition is also a problem.


Really good review dude.

January 7th 2009


Disappointing to see this album with such a low rating, I think it is a great addition to the Melvins already impressive discography but to each their own! I didn't read this to closely but this is a decent review, so good job!

Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2009


Good to see you get around to this review Ali & I thought it was an excellent one. The information was really good at the beginning of the review & you balanced up the review of the album as well as you could. Most importantly, it was all in a clear & easily readable manner. Well done & deserving of a pos.

March 23rd 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

Good review. Probably their worst album to date, with some really weak, boring songs.

November 21st 2009


The Smiling Cobra is awesome.

July 29th 2011


Album Rating: 1.5

Yeah, this album is one of the bigger turds they've laid in their long career.

July 29th 2011


this isn't bad at all

July 29th 2011


band has 5000 albums

July 29th 2011


rush has more

July 29th 2011


the fall have more than albums than both of those i think

March 11th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

This album's actually really good. Long live Melvins!

Digging: Rina Sawayama - RINA

March 11th 2012


fuck yea Melvins

Digging: Dyscarnate - With All Their Might

March 27th 2012


worst Melvins m/

March 19th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

This album is wicked! Its classic Melvins tomfoolery to make an album with songs that have long-ass intros and riffs that build on each other and seemingly lead nowhere. NWB proudly carries on that tradition, for Melvins fans only!

Digging: Slade - Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

March 20th 2013


i don't know why, but i love this album artwork. As a result i will most likely check this out. melvins rule m/

March 20th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

It's also important to listen to this album in context with the preceding album, (A) Senile Animal, since the represent they

beginning of the Big Business partnership and were created within quick succession of each other.

March 20th 2013


(a) senile animal is awesome from what i've heard. think i hear a history of bad men a while ago. k, will check that out first

March 20th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

(A)SA is kind of an anomaly for Melvins albums, since the sequencing flows very well, and there are no breaks in momentum until the final 2 tracks, which are pretty much weird jam experiments (a typical Melvins staple)

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