ALBUM REVIEW: Melvins 1983 – Working with God

Working With God (Ipecac Records/Liberator Music)is the 24th release by the Melvins and features their 1983 lineup of Buzz Osbourne, Dale Crover on bass, and original drummer Mike Dillard (although they have been doing a ton of regular Melvins lineup activities with Steven Shane McDonald of Redd Kross). The record encapsulates the Hardcore and Sludge style Melvins have delivered since their genesis. The result is a fresh album that is thrilling and cathartic.

‘I Fuck Around’ is the Melvins’ subversive and transgressive take on ‘I Get Around’ by The Beach Boys. In addition to that, ‘I Fuck Around’ is Comedic and humorous. ‘Negative No No’ kicks off deceptively slow with high hat drumming. The tune becomes increasingly heavy with bone-crunching guitar riffs, Sludge bass licks, and deep, Punk vocals.

‘Bouncing Rick’ sounds thoroughly punk with Hardcore instrumentation and spacey vocals. It is here that Working With God reveals itself to be a record that escalates in heaviness as the album progresses. ‘Caddy Daddy’ is a straight-up Metal song. Here, The Melvins ratchet up the album’s hardcore sound with guitar riffs and vocals that marry elements of Doom and Grunge.

“Brian, The Horse Faced Goon’ tells the story of this horse-faced character named Brian who shoots dope and throws up. The Thrash elements are powerful on ‘Boy Mike,’ with lightning-fast guitar riffs and licks that hint of Death Metal. Equally ferocious is the groovy drumming, which amplifies the thrash sound. The sinister singing with Doom qualities juxtaposes the elements of death metal in the instrumentation.

‘1 Fuck You’ offers a respite from metal, plotting a course in a more Hard Rock. It’s a surprising turn from the previous tracks. Throughout the song, a chorus repeats singing, “Fuck you,” which has a comedic effect, and a cathartic one.

The drumming and beats on ‘The Great Good Place’ create a thrilling rhythm on top of pulverizing riffs. ‘Hot Fish’ is a low and slow song anchored by mammoth basslines and a chorus of vocals that sound symphonic. ‘Hund’ pulls out all stops with wailing, howling guitar licks, and vocals with delay effects. In terms of musicianship, this song delivers satisfying Hardcore sounds. Working With God ends with ‘Good Night Sweetheart,’ a surreal acapella track and palate cleanser.

Working With God is thoroughly modern grunge, metal, and punk. With diverse sounding songs and a surprising listening experience, Working With God is a satisfying addition to The Melvins catalog.


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9 / 10