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There were times when THE MELVINS were one of my favourite bands. That was around 1987 until 1993, but then I started to lose interest in the band. I am not sure what the reason for this could be, because it's almost 20 years ago. However, I was happy when I received a copy of THE MELVINS' newest album 'Freak Puke', because sometimes it's interesting to know what old acquaintances are doing today. Already after the first spins of 'Freak Puke' it becomes clear that THE MELVINS have lost nothing of their unpredictable eccentricity. This time, King Buzzo and Dale Crover are backed by bassist Trevor Dunn, who plays a stand-up bass on the entirety of the album and worked (among others) together with John Zorn and Mr. Bungle. Hardly surprising, then, that a few of the songs on this album are reminiscent of his former employer such as 'Mr. Rip Off' and 'Inner Ear Rupture'.

Not only this track shows that Trevor Dunn doesn't play a subsidiary role in the MELVINS line-up. There's enough space on 'Freak Puke', where he could develop his avantgardistic music skills. After the bizarre start, the rock has arrived with 'Baby, Won't You Weird Me Out', but again the bass brings a free jazz vibe to the song. 'A Growing Disgust' could also be on 'Houdini' or 'Stoner Witch', even if it's less heavy. But the riffs are pretty cool and once you get used to the strange guitar sound then it unfolds its nice effect. That holds good for other rock songs as for example 'Leon vs. the Revolution' and the excellent cover version of the Wings classic 'Let It Roll'.

In contrast, 'Holy Barbarian' is very different from the straightforward rock songs and conveys the impression that it has been recorded in a padded cell. Please excuse my silly description but I can tell you that it's definitely not easy to write a review about 'Freak Puke', because its eluding most clichés. There are moments when its closer to traditional classic rock standards, but I'm fairly sure that the average classic rock fan will dislike 'Freak Puke' due to the madness that lurks behind every note. But if you like the experimental leanings of THE MELVINS or if you always wanted to know how freak puke sounds, then it's certainly not wrong to purchase a copy of this album. For my part, I think that 'Freak Puke' is a solid album which shows that THE MELVINS are still good for a surprise.