"The Bulls & the Bees" is an EP release by US sludge rock/metal act Melvins. The EP was released as a free download through Scion A/S in March 2012. The always busy band have found time to record and release this 5 track, 23:36 minutes long EP, which is an admirable move by an already well established act that don´t necessarily have to give away their music for free to get attention.
"The Bulls & the Bees" is a bit of a mixed bag both when it comes to the quality of the music but also regarding the music style. Melvins have always played an eclectic combination of hard rock, hardcore/punk, doom/sludge metal and drone with avant garde elements thrown in, which have sometimes worked like a charm and other times have been a more trying experience for the listener (...call some of their material an aquired taste if you will). That´s also the case on "The Bulls & the Bees" where we are treated to a really heavy hard rocking track in "The War on Wisdom", a sludgy rock/metal track in "We are Doomed" and a couple of more experimental tracks in "Friends Before Larry" and "A Really Long Wait", before the EP closes with the more alternative sounding "National Hamster". Actually "The Bulls & the Bees" is a pretty good representation of the sound of Melvins. As usual the musicianship is strong and the EP also features a good quality sound production.
The quality of the tracks are a bit up and down though. I´d say both "The War on Wisdom" and "We are Doomed" are great tracks, while both "Friends Before Larry" and "A Really Long Wait" aren´t that exciting. "National Hamster" is alright but nothing special to my ears. So I guess somewhere between a 3 and a 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.