Melvins Lite – Freak Puke (3 stars)

Experimental craziness from the long-running grungers' reduced incarnation

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Melvins Lite – Freak Puke

You can never really expect every album by these insanely experimental men to sound the same. Even after 29 years of performing and recording together, The Melvins (or Melvins Lite, in this case) somehow manage to remain enthusiastic and creative in an industry that has seen them release more albums, singles, EPs , live albums and cover versions than one person can reliably count.

Melvins Lite is a trio spin-off occasionally used by the band, and consists of Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover, along with long-time Fantomas associate Trevor Dunn (formerly of Mr Bungle). Despite Freak Puke being a studio album, it's hard as a listener not to feel like you’re sitting in the band’s rehearsal space listening to them jam. Each track is so experimental and so different there is no obvious template or direction, much like old fan favourites ‘Boris’ and ‘Honey bucket’.

The album begins with ‘Mr Rip Off’ - an intro that sounds like something straight out of an old horror movie – and goes on to ‘Baby Won’t You Weird Me Out’, with nails-on-a-chalk-board strings which sound more like a kid got hold of a violin than three grown men creating music. Yet that’s exactly their appeal. Their sound is still an assorted mix of grunge, rock, metal and, well, whatever category final track ‘Tommy Goes Berserk’ falls under. Despite this, the album’s namesake is probably one of the most traditionally rock/metal tracks this band have released – lots of drums, guitar and screeching – and a small example of how talented these guys really are. The whole thing’s just a big ole bag o’ craziness. Needless to say, loyal fans will not be disappointed.

Melvins - Leon Vs. The Revolution (Freak Puke 2012) Ipecac/AmRep

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