The Balboas – BIG|BRAVE – Death Wishlist – Melvins – album reviews

For your pleasure and delectation this time fighting boredom bring you the ‘punk surf sensation’ of The Balboas and their album made in lockdown. The ‘massive minimalism’ of BIG|BRAVE, the ‘raucous fusion of ’77 punk-rock and high-octane rock ‘n roll’ of Death Wishlist and the latest album from ‘one of modern music’s most influential bands’ the fantastic Melvins. Read what we thought below.

The Balboas – The Pandemic Singles

Burn N’ Surf Records

That is the worst cover I’ve reviewed so far this year. I mean I wouldn’t buy it on the strength of the mad skull face doctor on a mask with two syringes full of what looks like instant death… I wonder what subtle point they are making? Anyone? Anyway, get past the cartoon and into the music and you get, well, excellent surf guitar led old school punk rock which is absolutely fabulous. They’ve got a myriad of guests along for the ride as well, East Bay Ray caught my eye, and the songs rock. It’s great, for pure dumb dancing around and shouting along it’s unstoppable. Just don’t look at the bloody cover.

BIG|BRAVE – A Chaos of Flowers

Thrill Jockey

At its heart BIG|BRAVE functions as sound. Whether it’s the small, desperate restrained sounds of despair and longing or the crushing obliteration of your senses with distortion and pure chaos the focus is the sound, not the lyrics, not the titles of the songs, but the sound. As such, this is remarkable, it distils the quiet to a feeling of forced restraint and the loud to an ending of everything. The funeral sounds and feelings, the menacing torch song and everything else on this record just make the sound all the more essential. If you can’t see them live then this album is a very close second to experiencing BIG|BRAVE.

Death Wishlist – You are Next

Area Pirata

This is average seventies punk with a metal crossover. It’s just a bit run of the mill to be honest. I bet they’d be a great night out if you were really drunk and they were on down the road but really, not my thing at all.

Melvins – Tarantula Heart

Ipecac Recordings

This is bloody awesome, the first track is a nineteen minute long prog epic, it’s melodically dense and thoroughly confounds you by switching direction, sound and effort various times along the way, including quiet and then huge chopping guitar. The vocals are as menacing and epic as ever and you can see Buzz’s head moving as it plays. It ends, as you would expect, with feedback and distortion. After that monstrosity the other five songs give you grinding riffs fit to wake the Gods, a weird epic strangely endearing in its strangeness, another intense five minutes of Psychedelic punk scrawling and then a fast menacing howling, shouting mad psych out freaking monster. Business as usual for this bunch of lunatics, just keep making them, they keep getting better.

The Balboas are on Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp.

BIG|BRAVE’s website is they are also on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp and X as @big_brave_

Death Wishlist’s website is, they are also on Facebook.

Melvins’ website is, they are also on Facebook, Bandcamp, Instagram and X as @melvinsdotcom

All words by Adrian Bloxham

Adrian Bloxham

One Comment

  1. Melvin sound good, what I listened to, like you say very long.
    Big Brave 👍 sound good
    The others yeah average.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *