The Bootlicker (Ipecac Records)
By: Jeb Branin
This is part two of a three part "trilogy" of new MELVINS releases. This is the "quiet" album. The one where the band gets smooth and fluid. This is the CD that the band uses to explore a MELVINS definition of pop music. It is packed with groove, emotion and ponderous experiments in "flow" and "vibe". Admittedly this is nowhere near as mandatory as an individual entity as "The Maggot" but as a piece of the puzzle this is crucial. And it is a legitimate piece. The MELVINS have always been a band that bucked trends and used their own yardstick to define their music (as opposed to some worthless genre tag) and this album is a perfect expression of that fact. It draws on such odd elements as noise, minimalism and quasi- psychedelia to generate a mostly gentle (although not genteel) collection of songs that are not so much "catchy" as "hypnotic". If you are a fan who gags at the band's experimental offerings then avoid this but if you are a fan who appreciates all facets of the band this is a must. There is also more backwards packaging, playlist dividing and the like to add to the distinction of the CD.
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