Review: The Melvins – Hold It In
veterans. Since 2006 they’ve been more or less kept a steady lineup with members of the band Big
Business, recorded with a myriad of guests on their 2013 “Everybody Loves Sausage,” and for their latest
Hold it In, they are matching up with alt-rock underground weirdos Jeff Pinkus (bass) and Paul Leary
(guitarist) of The Butthole Surfers. The Butthole Surfers are best known for their 1996 hit song “Pepper”
which was big on MTV. The pairing is a weird one, but not necessarily surprising, as both The Melvins
and The Butthole Surfers came up in the 80s grunge scene making their most mainstream records during
the 90s before becoming cult legends with loyal fan bases.
The Melvins certainly take over with heavy riffage on most of the tracks. Take, for instance, opener
“Bride of Crankenstein” treads a lot of the same territory as 2006’s Nude With Boots and 2010’s The
Bride Screamed Murder. It clocks in at less than 3 minutes, so the repetitions never sound laborious,
and the song moves with catchy chorus and trading guitar solos. On track 5, “Onions that Make the Milk
Taste Bad” the riffage is in Osborne’s comfort zone for the first minute and a half, but wisely trades
comfort for creative ingenuity by slowing it down, letting the canvas widen, and rebuilding the song
from the ground up to good effect. “Sesame Street Meat” sludges along with Dale Crover just absolutely
killing it on drums.
The Butthole Surfers’ influence shines through on over the course of the 12 songs, with three songs
being written by Leary. Tracks like “Eyes on You” sound like something that could have fit nicely on
1996’s Electriclarryland, sounding more like psyched out pop punk bar band. “You Can Make Me Wait”
follow TBHS’s course of action, taking something jangly and transforming it into something jarring and
abrasive. The song that best marries the ideas of each camp is the infectious “Brass Cupcake.” “Brass
Cupcake” chugs along with stadium rock riffs, great hooks, and sounds great played loud.
Not all the tracks are successful, however, and most of the duds are found on the second half of the
record. “Nine Yards” is a forgettable 2 minutes of punk metal, and following that, “The Bunk Up”
stretches out for 7 minutes with multiple sections. Each section, separately, sounds like they could
be groundwork for a really good song, but put together, it comes out sounding like a confusing mess.
However, set closer “House of Gasoline” rocks pretty hard, and stretches out into a noisy grunge jam
session with Crover pummeling the hell out of the drums, clocking in at over 12 minutes.
Overall, this is an enjoyable album. It’s not one of the Melvins best albums, but it seems like all the
participants enjoyed working together and that feeling shines through.
3.5 / 5
Purchase the record here.
Steven Klett | News Cult