As one third of the Melvins, drummer Dale Crover is revered for his punishing rhythmic patterns and providing the bottom end for some of the darkest, most innovative heavy metal ever made. But as the frontman for his longtime side project Altamont, he taps into his inner Billy F. Gibbons with a lethal dose of full tilt boogie in the key of evil on the group’s latest release, “The Monkees’ Uncle.”
The album could easily be mistaken for the next volume of the “Desert Sessions” with its AOR-inspired riffs of fury, especially on tracks like “El Stupido” and “Pedigree,” which sound lifted from a long, lost Queens Of The Stone Age LP. But other tunes here echo the influence of “Village Green”-era Kinks (“Easter Sunday”, well the intro of it at least) and Brian Eno at his most sinister (the cryptic “Laughing Boy”).
But when you get down toward the end of “The Monkees’ Uncle” with cuts like “The Bloodening” and “Bull Ramus,” you will know you are listening to the side project of a Melvin. A most interesting album. – Ron Hart