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For a band who often seem to have the slacker tag thrown at them, it's quite astonishing to take a step back and actually realise the sheer scale of Melvins' work ethic. Granted, the lineup's hardly been static down the years, with all kinds of chopping and changing, but in some form or another, Melvins have now been touring and recording for in excess of thirty years, a milestone they marked last year with not one, but two releases. Hold It In follows hot on the heels of those releases, and actually marks a crossover between the band and their fellow peddlers of noise and crudeness, Butthole Surfers - joining Melvins stalwarts Dale Crover and iconic frontman King Buzzo are Paul Leary and JD Pinkus, with both taking on lead vocal duties on a handful of tracks.

Both the fact that this effectively represents a collaborative effort and also that there's three different singers across the album's twelve tracks are probably reasons behind the fact that it feels like a pretty diffuse collection of songs; the only real unifying characteristic to Hold It In's songs are their punishing level of loudness. Pinkus' tracks are fairly straightforward affairs; opener 'Bride of Crankenstein' is classic Melvins sludge, rolling by steadily as a monolithic riff crashes down around the band. 'Nine Yards', meanwhile, is quicker, more urgent - the guitars are erratic, staccato, and its the noodling riffs that take precedence over Pinkus' relatively unspectacular delivery. 'Piss Pistofferson' is the most interesting Pinkus cut; the riff zips in and out of his own bass work, whilst Crover's performance behind the kit is typically frantic.

Leary's contributions, meanwhile, differ from Pinkus' in that he wrote them alone, rather than with Buzzo and Crover. The result is obvious; they veer far closer to typical Surfers territory than anything else on the album, and depending on your perspective, they either stick out like a sore thumb or offer some welcome freshness. I'm caught in two minds about which is more applicable; the freewheeling guitar of 'Eyes on You' strikes a nice middle ground, whereas 'You Can Make Me Wait' is perhaps just a little bit too poppy for a Melvins record, and a little bit too far removed from the typical sonic palette that you'd expect from Buzzo's men, too. 'I Get Along (Hollow Moon)', meanwhile, is an enjoyable bouncy number, but oddly placed, coming straight after the epic 'The Bunk Up'.

For Melvins fans, it's tracks like 'The Bunk Up' that'll be of the most interest; it's an experimental effort, sprawling at seven minutes, that moves away from the traditional sludgy guitar in favour of an airier, more open sonic landscape. 'Onions Make the Milk Go Bad' and 'Sesame Street Meat', meanwhile, have an identity far more closely identifiable with what we've come to expect from Melvins - not least because they showcase Buzzo's penchant for grotesque lyricism - but they, too, are trying to take those heavy guitars in a nippier direction.

At thirty years in, Melvins have enough of an established fanbase to keep churning out the same old, same old, but surely wouldn't continue to be artistically fulfilled by that - hence the nature of some of their projects, especially this collaboration. Butthole Surfers fans will be able to see a whole different side of Leary and Pinkus on Hold It In; Melvins fans, meanwhile, will surely appreciate the stab at something new.

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