Review: The Melvins – Hold It In

melvins-hold-it-inBuzz Osborne and Dale Crover of the Melvins have made a career out of teaming up with seasoned

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