Punk doesn’t always age well; not the genre, but bands. Punk-rock troubadours (the) Melvins are back with their newest album Tres Cabrones and the years haven’t exactly been kind to their sound. It is with a measure of regret that I inform you dear readers about this. To say The Melvins hold a special place in my heart is an understatement. They came at a time when I can say that I really got “into” music. This was one of those early bands that I fell for and still pop on from time to time. Tres Cabrones musically has many remnants of that sound the fans all know, but for the most part, that’s what is good about it – the remnants.
Songs like “Dogs and Cattle Prods” have that screeching guitar in the beginning that many know oh so well, but divulge into a rusty sound. Various tracks have vocals that sound the age of the singer Buzz Osborne.
That being said, there is still some interesting stuff to be heard with this album. Songs like “I Told You I was Crazy” have some interesting elements to listen to, but they tend to be grating after a bit. The highlight of the album might be “Walter’s Lips”. It brings you back to the way things once were and is a pretty fun punk jam. It’s got that headbanging tempo rife with a guitar that chugs out the punk groove perfectly. The same can easily be said for the following track, ending the album strongly.
The other good parts of the album are typical Melvins laugh tracks like “99 Bottles of Beer”. This minute-long track starts with the old school bus song and then goes into a chant of “Beer, beer, beer” for its remainder. There’s three songs like this and they’re all a gas to hear.
If you’re a fan of The Melvins then Tres Cabrones might be worth a listen, but for those new to the band, I’d recommend diving into their earlier work. It’s great to see that the boys are still at it. While this album is very far from their best, there’s still some punk/sludge goodness to be heard.