In true self-referential fashion, The Bulls & The Bees begins with riffs phrasing sections from The Bride Screamed Murder in a manner which greatly appeals to my inner music geek. ‘The War on Wisdom’ evolves to enjoyably connote Wrong-era NoMeansNo, before ending with more rephrased guitar lines (here from Nude With Boots). A good start.
‘We Are Doomed’ is practically a mix of Nude’s “Suicide in Progress” and, less obviously, “Revolve”. Where “Suicide…” presents a reworking of riffs from the split with Lustmord, this new track further evolves the sequence. By this stage of the EP, however, I would quite like something original – and luckily, the following two tracks are just that. The cinematic quality of “A Really Long Wait” in particular adds greater balance to the EP, and is perhaps the natural successor to their take on Dies Irae.
“National Hamster” commences with a crunch (possibly lifted from “Lovely Butterfly”?) before introducing a simple but effective riff. This is the mandatory radio-friendly fuzz-rock track, in the vein of Nude’s “Billy the Fish”, which adds a sense of conclusion to an otherwise slightly cluttered release.
Overall, a worthwhile listen for all Melvins-fanatics, for most Melvins-fans, but for fewer Melvins-newbies. I would have preferred a slightly more experimental approach than the now overtly familiar tactic; I feel the power-quartet needs a minor rejigging to maintain interest after six years. Bring on Freak Puke.
Download the EP for free here.