The Melvins: The Bride Screamed Murder

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Artist: The Melvins

Title: The Bride Screamed Murder
Release date: June 1
Label: Ipecac

To me, The Melvins have always been one of those bands that more people say they like than actually listen to. Could be wrong, but that's my perception. I certainly respect their longevity (they've been around damn near 30 years), status as an influencer of artists who hit the big time, and time-tested adherence to a particular aesthetic.

But I can't say I was super-excited when the longtime Seattle band's new record hit my desk. I was just mildly curious. They've always been known as the godfathers of grunge, but outside of the first two records by Mudhoney -- which I always thought of as a garage band at heart -- I didn't get into grunge that much. 

So here we have the 19th record by The Melvins (say, I heard they played the other night in town. Anyone have any reports on the show?). If you like The Melvins, you will not be disappointed by The Bride Screamed Murder. If you're lukewarm, as I am, you likely not join the converts.

The word everyone uses to describe The Melvins' sound is "sludge" or "Sabbath-esque." Well, it's late Friday afternoon, and I'm not in the frame of mind to reinvent the band-labeling wheel, and those two words are totally apt descriptions. 

In the end, I'm just not into the material, but there are two things I really liked about The Bride Screamed Murder: the production and the drumming. It's simply the best rock-drumming performance I've heard on a record this year. Stomp stomp stomp. It's huge, dextrous, and flat-out kickass. As far as the production, I love the overall sound of the record. So many metal bands are compressed to hell and juiced up with studio technology to make them sound larger than life. The Melvins' sound is monstrous -- but unadorned. You can hear the room they recorded this disc in. You can picture them in the studio, just making a punishing racket.

I just wish the songs would grab me. The Bride Screamed Murder is for die-hards only.
Best song: "Pig House." There's also a nearly unrecognizable version of The Who's "My Generation" that's worth noting.
Rotation: Low-medium
Deja vu: 1990
I'd rather listen to: Pierced Arrows' Descending Shadows
Grade: B-

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

The "Nothing Not New" Archives

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.