We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
There’s no Kiss cover on Stoner Witch, the Melvins’ second major-label effort, but its heavily percussive meandering is otherwise fairly typical of this veteran Seattle trio’s approach. In fact, it sounds an awful lot like…grunge. Yup, now that the G-word has been misappropriated, exploited, and discarded, why not reapply it to the bands that earned the label in the first place? Tunes like “Goose Freight Train” and “Shevil” are a helluva lot more obtuse than “Smells Like Teen Spirit” could ever be, while “Lividity” is practically a fusion of the Seattle sound and ambient. Vocalist King Buzzo and cohorts do manage to spit out one cohesive tune (“Revolve”), but Stoner‘s appealing outlandishness pretty much guarantees it zero album sales (putting the Melvins ironically at odds with former admirer and producer Kurt Cobain). And that’s just fine: Grunge could never make it big, anyway.