Melvins – Basses Loaded (Ipecac Records, 03 June 2016)
Around here, we’ve talked pretty extensively about the Melvins. Mostly because since forming in Montesano, Washington about thirty-five years ago, the band has been a highly influential part of so many of the genres we love, even having a hand in forming and shaping several of those. Also there’s the fact that, with their ever-revolving line-ups, there are approximately ninety-seven Melvins releases (on average) each year. Being so prolific, it’s likely that they’ll have some stuff kind of flying under the radar, and today we’ll be looking at an album from last year that you may have missed. And then down in the comments you can find information about all their tour dates for the rest of the summer and beyond (and if you have the opportunity to see these guys, I really could not recommend it highly enough!)
King Buzzo – This Machine Kills Artists (Ipecac Recordings, 02 June 2014)
The bulk of my formative years were spent in the 1990s, from age eleven (when I was being introduced to Faith No More and Overkill) through twenty (when I was discovering Pentagram and Emperor). I experienced lot of music both new and old during that decade, all of which had a strong influence over my tastes and preferences, and frankly, made a huge impression on my life in general. And looking back, I think it could be argued that (taking into account both direct and indirect effects) singer/guitarist Roger “Buzz” Osborne and his band The Melvins had made at least as much of an impact as any other person or band, if not more.
After all, not only did I discover their own music somewhere in my teens (and found myself blown away by it), but that band can be said to have been almost singlehandedly responsible for entire genres of music — some of which rank among my absolute favorite. Where would sludge or grunge metal be, if it weren’t for their groundbreaking work? What would Crowbar or Eyehategod have sounded like; TAD or Harvey Milk; or dozens of other bands who’ve served such an important role in my life?
So clearly, I don’t think I could overemphasize how big of a deal they — and by extension, their one constant member over their thirty year history — really are. And so when Ipecac Recordings issues an album full of Osbourne solo acoustic material, needless to say I am very intrigued…
Melvins – The Bulls & the Bees (13 March 2012, Scion A/V)
I’ve just got two things to say: first, there is a new Melvins EP, and second, it’s absolutely free to download. Really, that should be all you need to hear.
The generous people who run Scion A/V have done it again, putting out a handful of songs by an incredible band for no cost or obligation at all. I still don’t know what they get out of it (I’ve grabbed a copy of each one of their free releases so far, but I’d still never be caught dead behind the wheel of one of their ugly-ass cars!), but I sure am thankful they keep on doing what they’re doing.
This time, as you can see, they are featuring a five-song collection by the Melvins, who surely need no introduction to anybody reading this. But just in case you just immigrated to this planet from Pluto, or you have been in a coma since Ronald Reagan’s first term as U.S. president, let me bring you up to speed. These guys almost single-handedly invented sludge, grunge, and stoner metal. At the very least, they were highly influential in the genesis of each of those styles, and have been consistently churning out quality tunes for almost three whole decades.