The Melvins: Basses Loaded

New album with six bassists, including Krist Novoselic.

The Melvins Basses Loaded album cover

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The germ of this album seems to have come from a session in which Dave Grohl was supposed to join the Melvins, only to fail to turn up, to the profound chagrin of Buzz Osborne. Krist Novoselic, however, did turn up, and he features here on Maybe I Am Amused, an accordion hoedown that’s only the second silliest track on the album after their concluding version of Take Me Down To The Ballgame.

There’s much that rocks here, and rocks deep on this four-string feast with multiple dishes. Choco Plumbing, featuring Big Business’s Jared Warren, has a chomping barracuda of a bass riff. Beer Hippie, featuring Melvins’ 1983 drummer Dale Crover on bass, churns up old dinosaur bones in the mud. Meanwhile, Steve McDonald of Redd Kross features on a weighty version of George Harrison’s I Want To Tell You, once covered by Ted Nugent.

The Butthole Surfers’ Jeff Pinkus grinds effectively on Captain Come Down, while Mr Bungle/Fantomas’s Trevor Dunn provides some meandering, jazzy standup bass on Planet Distructo. All this and the stuttering riffology of the probably non-misogynistic Hideous Woman.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.