Pinkus Abortion Technician
I’m sure it will surprise no one that The Melvins have a new album out. Their prolific output is proof of their belief that more is more. But if that wasn’t proof enough, they’ve got two bassists this time around. The Melvins have featured more than one bass player on an album before (see 2016’s Basses Loaded, which boasts six) but this is the first time they’re playing at the same time.
Steve McDonald, who’s been The Melvins’ consistent bassist for the last few years, is present as is Jeff Pinkus, who has appeared with the Melvins on and off since 2014. For the most part, the presence of two basses doesn’t create too much of an effect. Except for when they are playing in harmony, it’s hard to even tell that there are two. Sometimes one is distorted while the other isn’t, but for the most part it just feels heavy, which is always a good thing.
Pinkus Abortion Technician is an album in the vein of Lysol or The Crybaby. There’s a lot of covers and the focus is on having fun and trying stuff out. Despite that though it’s still a surprisingly cohesive listen. They do two Butthole Surfers songs, a James Gang cover, and an incredible version of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” in addition to some new originals, and make them all sound like one band, which is no small feat. Pinkus also has writing credits on four of the original songs. Not bad for someone who isn’t a full time member of the band. His “Don’t Forget To Breathe” is the album’s sludgy masterpiece. He then plays banjo on the mellow following track “Flamboyant Duck” and it’s also an excellent song.
The Melvins are a fun band to be a fan of because they’re always trying new things and keeping it interesting. Pinkus Abortion Technician is no different. They might never release another album with two simultaneous basses or maybe they will. Either way, this is a worthy addition to their ever-growing canon.