The Melvins are a lot like their namesake, well known and yet not well known at all. That said, A Walk With Love and Death, comes closer to sounding iconic in many songs like opener “Black Heath” with it’s mellow yet metal vibe, than sounding like Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Primus, or any of the other many rock bands who grew up with the Melvins while being more successful than said Melvins.
Even better for a band who likes to be weird, “Soberdelic” shows the band’s growth. It’s a crawl of a song, but interesting nonetheless. “Euthanasia”, on the other hand, is probably a bit more like what one would expect from the riotous rockers, who enjoy pushing buttons as much as they enjoy rock probably, sometimes too much even. “What’s Wrong With You?” is a solid and catchier pop-rock single with falsetto male and female vocals. Better still is the stoner rock sound of “Edgar the Elephant”, which while slower paced, is perfect for anyone into chill rock. Fortune also seems brighter in the glassy treble sounds in “Flaming Creature”.
“Christ Hammer” is just as solid, but a little louder and more familiar for the Melvins. “A Cactus Party” is also worthwhile, and some of the later songs, like “Cardboa Negro”, “Aim High” and “Street Level St Paul” are more intricate whereas the rest like “Queen Powder Party”, “The Hidden Joice”, “T Burg” and “Scooba” are all kind of a pointed joke, but not hurtful to the overall appreciation of the whole album.
In the end, A Walk With Love and Death really is a journey, and this release may not just grow their image, but show something in their own growth as hard rock connoisseurs. Maybe now they are the best hard rock since Kyuss.