The Melvins, arguably one of the most important underground bands through the late 80s and 90s, released their 21st studio album ‘Pinkus Abortion Technician’ in April this year. The album didn’t offer too much in the way of the Melvins exploring boundaries like they have done fantastically in the past, but it does offer some good listening, noticeably their cover of ‘I want to hold your hand’, the early Lennon-McCartney single.
The band is credited for being one of the first grunge bands pivotal in the influence of Nirvana, Soundgarden and Green River. They also have been instrumental outside of grunge with Tool, Faith No More and Boris (who took their name from a Melvins song), all taking huge influence from their heavy sound.
I saw Melvins last year at Brixton Electric and was impressed by how the band had improved in the last year. With the addition of bassist Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), there was no shortage of volume in the lower register and that gave a huge sound. Melvins have in the past performed with two drummers, but it was fascinating to witness two bass players on stage, something I have never seen before. I feel it also helped their stage performance with all four members having great chemistry onstage making a much more energetic concert and an ease between players that was not so evident last year.
They performed a fantastic setlist with a mix of old and new songs and several covers from Buttonhole Surfers, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones. One of the tightest live bands I’ve seen to date and especially drummer Dale Crover who is the steam train that keeps the band going. So much energy and power in his playing. It was amazing how fresh the band sounded despite performing extensively for nearly their whole time as a band. One could only imagine how draining it can be performing the same songs nearly every year since the late 80s.
A band much worth going to see. Their varied sets give a great insight into the bands best output spanning their entire career, for fans and new listeners alike. Prolific not only in their touring but their output too, the group are probably already working on their next album and consequential tour, so keep an eye out.