Melvins/Retox @ Hawthorne Theater
What can be said about The Melvins' nearly 30 year career that hasn't already been written?
Over the course of their career, the Melvins have gone from being a speed metal band to a My War-era Black Flag grunge originator to recording experimentalists to their current incarnation as a heavy prog act, complete with two drummers.
Because of this, I was curious to see the current incarnation of the band, "Melvins-Lite" featuring Buzz Osborne, drummer Dale Crover, and Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn on stand up bass.
I spoke with Buzz before the show and he told me matter of factly that this was a way to keep making money while second drummer Cody Willis and bassist Jared Warren are busy with their other group, Big Business.
Melvins-Lite was anything but "light". Opening with "Eye Flys", the standout track from their 1986 album "Gluey Porch Treatments", this was classic Melvins. The slow buildup seemed to take an eternity, until releasing with a heaviness that is nearly unimaginable (unless you've previously experienced The Melvins firsthand).
The tracks from the new album, "Freak Puke" grooved more than classic Melvins tracks, though they certainly had their bludgeoning moments. Trevor Dunn is a renowned session bassist in the NYC jazz community, and his chops really shine on this record, as well as on stage.
Missed the show? Have no fear, Buzz, Dale, and Trevor will be back at The Hawthorne Theater on Sept 7th. A full tour schedule is available at http://www.melvins.net
or you can check out all of the weirdness from The Melvins official site at http://www.melvins.com.
In the meantime, pick up a copy of Freak Puke from an independent record store near you, or listen to Between the Eyes Monday's at 3pm on KPSU for selected cuts off of the album.
But if you can make the show? Don't make plans for the following day.
Your ears will need to recover.