Melvins are powering on with their abundance of Melvins albums and have recently released a new Melvins album by Melvins. Featuring some covers and some songs written by Melvins, the album is called Pinkus Abortion Technician and it’s by Melvins.
Pinkus Abortion Technician has a thick bass to most of the songs which is likely the result of having two bass players performing. It does make for an interesting rhythmic drive, but rather than push out and do a fair bit with the setup, Melvins instead play it safe and most of the time the two bass setup doesn’t amount to much more than a thicker low end. It would have been interesting to see what Melvins could have come up with had they done more with the setup, but otherwise it works for the songs.
The songs themselves are more of a lighter affair for Melvins. They’re mostly more rock oriented and have a lot less sludge, but there also are a few punk and blues moments. There is still some playing around with formula, but it’s much more subdued than on prior releases. In one way it leads to a more consistent and cohesive experience, but it’s less exploratory and a little more throwaway. Besides which, Melvins have seldom had issues with creating albums that are consistent and cohesive the whole way through.
Of course, there are some standout tracks such as the brief, punchy “Embrace the Rub” and the slower, bass-heavy “Prenup Butter”, but the one song that really stands out above the rest is “Flamboyant Duck”.
“Flamboyant Duck” starts off driven by acoustic guitar and banjo. Whilst occasionally it has some crunchier guitar, it remains quite relaxed. After about two-and-a-half minutes the song switches around. The banjo is still there and still follows a simple pattern that does little to build, but it is more sparse and tense. Gradually the other instruments come back in as well as some background sound that expands the song and strengthens the tense, uneasy atmosphere. Building around the background sound and the banjo, the other instruments become more intense and prominent, leading to a sense of unease and dread. Before hitting some sort of massive release, the song ends abruptly and the album resumes the rocking. It brings forth focus on mood, shows a good use of restraint and is performed so effectively that it may just be one of the best songs Melvins have written.
Outside of “Embrace the Rub”, “Flamboyant Duck”, and “Prenup Butter”, the songs mostly work. The covers are interesting, sound honest and to an extent fit in, but beyond that they not necessarily memorable; nor do they feel like a worthwhile inclusion. Some of the tracks are okay enough but drag a little more than they should. The whole thing sounds fun but overall it doesn’t do much to go beyond “it works”.
In talking about Pinkus Abortion Technician, Buzz Osborne has said “If you take it in conjunction with the double album, it all makes sense”, which is likely due to it being recorded in the same sessions. Viewing the album as something that is part of A Walk With Love & Death does make sense as Pinkus Abortion Technician does sound fairly similar to the first half of that record. It could work as a closing or opening third due to the lighter, less exploratory sound but it still could be seen as its own thing due to those reasons as well as the amount of covers. Furthermore to this, due to these reasons Pinkus Abortion Technician can be seen as leftovers from A Walk With Love & Death.
Whilst Pinkus Abortion Technician is an enjoyable album, the biggest problem is that it doesn’t feel like a Melvins album. That it sounds like something Melvins would do is most likely due to the fact that it’s Melvins playing the songs, but the album feels less like a Melvins album than Everybody Loves Sausages and The Crybaby. The covers fit but whilst they’re interesting they mostly indicate that Pinkus Abortion Technician may have been better as an E.P.
The album is fun and whilst some could have been dropped there are some good tracks but it feels like someone else.
Pinkus Abortion Technician can be found here.