REVIEW SUBMITTED BY DAVE MULCRONE
Oh no! What's going on? A former Nirvana drummer has decided to embark on a more pop-oriented musical endeavour? Will we yet again be dragged along to Wembley Stadium to be subjected to a three and a half rock show consisting of 250 songs which are only broken up by an overly-enthusiastic frontman yelling 'FUCK YEAH LET'S GOOOO!!!!!'? Fortunately not... This time it's the hard-hitting powerhouse Dale Crover of the mighty Melvins with his second solo LP, Rat-A-Tat-Tat!.
Following 2017's The Fickle Finger of Fate, Crover utilises Melvin's bassist Steve McDonald and Altamont bandmate Dan Southwick to accompany him on this eclectic mix of psych-indie tunes, produced yet again by the studio wizard Toshi Kasai. This successful recruitment of talented musicians gives the album a more well-rounded sound; a collaborative group effort that doesn't rely on distinguishable guest spots. Crover and the gang experiment with various genres such as classic, indie, 70s and boogie rock; and also mix it up with industrial and drone soundscapes.
The result is an assortment of finely crafted pop-tunes such as Untrue Crime, Shark Like Overbite, and I Can't Help You There; juxtaposed with psychedelic experiments such as Piso Mojado and Supine Is How I Found Him; of which the former could easily have fit on Crover's brilliant drumming project Hew Time (2014). One for the die-hard Melvins army, it's just as interesting as it is suitably weird. There is a solid blend of acoustic guitars, trippy synths, keyboards, and heavily tampered drum sounds that are reminiscent of old Melvins records like The Maggot (1999) and Honky (1997), and can also draw comparisons with the second side of A Walk with Love & Death (2017).
This record is testament to Crover's artistic integrity as he continually churns out interesting releases and still continues to make exciting and daring records with the formidable Melvins, 37 years after their inception. An inspiring musician and phenomenal drummer, he remains relevant and consistently uncompromising as he adds another solid record to his vastly weird and lustrous psych-grunge-rock oeuvre.