Melvins – The Bulls & the Bees

By Gruesome Greg

Alas, while their MelVan was not sold to the highest bidder on the 13th of March, the Melvins nevertheless released this free five-song EP, courtesy of Scion A/V, on that date. The Bulls & the Bees opens with “The War on Wisdom,” a decent mid-paced rocker, with some angry screams alternating with airy wails, before a brief instrumental breakdown that even includes a drum solo, of sorts, leading into some faux-operatic group vocals. Why am I getting a bit of a Ghost vibe here?

Second tune “We Are Doomed” is the only song that exceeds five minutes in length, clocking in closer to seven—a bit of an anomaly for a band that’s been known to jam out some lengthy tracks of late. This one starts off slow and heavy, a semi-sweet sludge riff crawling at a stoner caravan’s pace with a coupla decent desert-rock riffs thrown in for good measure. The vocals are both laid-back and urgent as the verses crawl along before crashing into a heavier, but equally slow chorus. This one doesn’t really sound like the Melvins, but it sounds pretty solid, with at least a couple riffs befitting of its moniker.

“Friends Before Larry” gives off a bit of an odd, eerie vibe, some screeching guitars making scary sounds with vocals so drenched in effects that they almost sound like another instrument, though it’s all over after four minutes and change. “A Really Long Wait,” which is about equal in runtime, moves the goalposts further into left field with what sound like female vocals and a violin or two, going nowhere fast and ending with some nature sounds.

The EP itself ends on a more traditional note with “National Hamster,” a pretty straight-forward grungy rock tune with some slamming start-stop riffage and a bluesy lick or two. This band just keeps on rolling, even if their former touring vehicle will remain parked for a while.

Download the album here for free

(Scion A/V)

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.

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