erratic, raging rock

Stoner Witch (Atlantic)

By Kory Wilcoxson

It's hard to figure out exactly what the Melvins see when they look in the mirror. Is it a grunge band, an underground rock band, a quirky riff-happy band? I'd say a little bit of all of that. But such a combination can prove erratic and that's the best word to describe Stoner Witch.

The potential is there, spelled out in the rage of the second song, "Queen. " This is the Melvins at their best, with singer King B doing his best James Hetfield impersonation and drummer Dale C and bassist Mark D throwing down a jagged foundation.

As good as "Queen" and "Revolve" are, other songs have little to offer. "At the Stake" is a pulsating, grinding mess whose slow tempo could cure insomnia. Tracks like "Goose Freight Train" and "Lividity" suffer from the same banality.