As indicated by the "Good Times Bad Times"/"Moby Dick"-esque drum-and-guitar power jam that blasts off the opening song, "Kicking Machine," the majority of Nude with Boots showcases the Zeppelin meets Sabbath in a dark alley, classic rock side of the Melvins. Rather than toying with excruciating sonic noise like some of their more experimental discs (Pigs of the Roman Empire, Colossus of Destiny), or continuing down their road of deconstructed doomsday drones -- a sound they pioneered, setting the pace for bands like Boris and Sunn 0))) -- they stick to frank, bludgeoning stoner rock. The result is yet another crushing platter in their extensive discography that's meant to be cranked to the max. On the second album to feature founder Buzz Osborne and cofounder Dale Crover alongside Big Business bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis, a newfound energy permeates and drives the band, often resulting in enthusiastic tempos and a sense of velocity. This is a drastic change for a group that built a foundation on trudging doggedly, like sneakers stuck in rubber cement. Along with the newly acquired taste for speed and brevity, even more notable is the interplay between the group members. The newcomers mirror the movements of the veterans, with drummers Crover and Willis hammering heavy beats in synchronicity, while Warren acts as the lil' Buzzo to King Buzzo, intricately layering cloned vocal screams and sneers while strumming basslines in tandem with the guitar riffs. Loudly. Osborne has coined their sound as a hideous cacophony of melody, which is not too far off, but there are some glimpses of tuneful pop sensibilities here as the melodies sneak through more than ever before -- and this is the sound of a band moving forward. As with most endeavors in uncharted territory, some songs miss the mark (an unnecessary ambient keyboard instrumental "Flush," for instance), but the straightforward beasts like "Billy Fish," "The Smiling Cobra," and the majestic title song "Nude with Boots" showcase the Melvins at the top of their game, while the lumbering brutality of "It Tastes Better Than the Truth" and "The Savage Hippy" shows that their warped sensibilities are still intact and that they're far from softening, even after almost 25 years in the game.
AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover