Melvins Credit: Chris Casella

After 35 years of profound confounding, it’s a wonder the Melvins have any “firsts” and “never done befores” left. But they claim that the brand-new A Walk With Love & Death (Ipecac) is their only double album to date. That’s a little bit misleading, though. Album one, Death, now, that’s a real Melvins record—from the eerily percolating, almost Pere Ubu-like “Black Heath” to the huge, shrieking barn burner “Euthanasia” to the heavy psych chug of “Edgar the Elephant.” The second half, Love—spun as a soundtrack to an indie art film—is producing some indignant squawking from reviewers for its self-indulgence and shapelessness. (Compare its reception to that of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, and we’ll see if it’s lauded decades later the same way that monumental work of fuck-you was.) It’s decadent, for sure, but if fairly mainstream pop culture can now embrace the sheer bizarritude of, say, David Lynch’s extreme Lynch-ness in the new Twin Peaks, we can roll with some undiluted inner Melvins goo. This probably isn’t the one you’re going to use to convince your uninitiated friends, though.   v