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Hey Melvins, a question: what gives with hiring two members of what amounted to a Melvins tribute act (Big Business) and incorporating them, with increasingly predictable results, into your legendary and usually awesome band? Nude with Boots, the sequel to 2006’s what-seemed-like-yet-another-one-off-Melvins-project A Senile Animal, finds King Buzzo and Co. trying to sound less like the ornery and cantankerous sonic innovators/audience frustraters of albums past and more like, well, “The Melvins” — in the same way that post-’80s Stones albums sound like the Stones without sounding like the “real” Stones. The results are surprisingly tame, if not un-rocking. Album opener “The Kicking Machine” has Buzzo pulling some Zep-like guitarditry from within the sleeves of his muumuu. In “The Stupid Creep” and “The Savage Hippy,” the band forge an odd alliance between late-’80s metal squeal and demonic dirge weirdness. And the last half of the closing “It Tastes Better Than the Truth” has a psychotic face-melting slo-motion nightmare feel that echoes the triumph of “Charmicharmicat,” from 1992’s Eggnog EP. But the two-drum attack that’s so exciting on paper tends to slow these songs to — well, not a crawl, because that would probably rule. Instead, the drums tend to be more “held in check,” which isn’t often an apt description of wild skinsman Dale Crover’s playing, let alone the music we’ve come to expect from the Melvins.

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