If the Melvins have made anything clear during their 30-year run, it's that they fearlessly follow their creative whims wherever those whims might take them. Over the last decade or so, this drive to pursue heavy weirdness in all its forms has seen them join forces with Big Business for a trio of inspired albums, team up with Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn for Freak Puke, and deliver an album of influential covers on Everybody Loves Sausages. On Tres Cabrones, the band's 19th studio album and second full-length sonic offering of 2013, King Buzzo and Dale Crover go back to basics -- way back, in fact -- to reunite with the Melvins' original drummer, Mike Dillard, who Crover replaced back in 1984. In a lot of ways, this lineup -- dubbed "Los Melvins" -- really captures the feeling of getting together with some old friends to recapture that youthful feeling of making music for the sake of making music. The thing is, unlike a lot of bands, the Melvins never left that phase. They don't have a period that can be looked back on as their "sellout" years. Instead, Tres Cabrones represents the Melvins doing what they want to do with confidence rather than simply doing it because they don't know any better, a trait that allows them to sell performances of fuzzed-out riff blasts like "Doctor Mule" and "Dogs and Cattle Prods" alongside goofy renditions of traditional numbers like "Tie My Pecker to a Tree" and "99 Bottles of Beer." While these kinds of weird departures would be hard for any other band to pull off, Tres Cabrones shows that, even after 30 years, the Melvins are still as brash as ever, and the album feels like a fitting way for the band to ring in a big anniversary with an old friend who was there at the very beginning.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney