Stoner Witch

Stoner Witch

Perhaps sensing that their unexpected detour into the mainstream was about to end, the Melvins went all-out for Stoner Witch, their second and final album for Atlantic. While Houdini felt like the Melvins’ version of a major-label album, Stoner Witch just sounds like a straight Melvins record. The band streamlined its studio team and brought onboard bassist Mark Deutrom. For the first time in years, the Melvins were a functional, democratic trio, and their triangulated chemistry is what brings Stoner Witch to life. “Sweet Willy Rollbar,” “Revolve,” “June Bug” and “Magic Pig Detective” exhibit the band’s tightest playing to date. After years of experiments in deconstruction, here they are simply a smoking-hot rock band. “Queen,” “Roadbull” and “At the Stake” are unrelentingly evil — arguably the most intense assaults since the trio’s early days. “Shevil” and “Lividity” bring the band full circle, uniting the weighty assault of the new band with the abstract drone of early works like Gluey Porch Treatments.

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