Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: The Melvins @ Mercury Ballroom 7/6 (Louisville)

King Buzzo, Dale Crover, and Jeff Pinkus: The Melvins
The Melvins graced  Louisville at The Mercury Ballroom on July 6, to the loudest show to ever be preformed on a Monday.
Led by Buzz Osborne (King Buzzo) The Melvins -consisting of Osbourne, drummer Dale Crover, and Jeff Pinkus of Butthole Surfers fame- hit the stage at 9pm with an interesting, and yet not so out of place, a cappella intro before blasting into 'Hag Me' from their 1993 album 'Houdini'. The entire night was packed with their signature avant and experimental sounds that inspired a teenage Kurt Cobain back in the early1980s in Washington state.  It was in The Melvins practice space that Cobain met bassist Krist Novoselic, and the rest as they say is history.
In fact Cobain's first band, Fecal Matter, included both Osborne and Crover, Crover even suppling drums for the newly formed Nirvana before before the two relocated The Melvins to San Francisco in 1988.
Crover and Osborne have been consistently playing as The Melvins for over thirty years; astoundingly remaining creative and releasing relevant albums, so rare with bands after even reaching the decade mark.
Monday's show was an enthusiastic explosion with Buzzo dressed like a past and future space priest from both Egypt and Europa, romping around the stage, playing songs mostly from the 2014 album 'Hold It In', such as 'Bride of Crankenstien' and 'Sesame Street Meat' and the experimental 'Onions make the Milk Taste Bad' -with captivating drum solos by Crover- as well as gems from their extensive catalog  such as 'The Bit' from the 1996 album 'Stag'.
Jeff Pinkus and the Flying V bass
Jeff Pinkus, famed bassist for The Butthole Surfers, joined the Melvins in 2013 and appears on the 2014 album Hold It In, both as bassist as well as sharing lead vocal duties.  On monday night you would have hardly noticed that this trio hasn't been performing together for decades, melting seamlessly with each other, all three sharing lead time throughout the set, as if extensions from the same Sludge-Rock beast. Two Butthole Surfers songs were also played, 1987's 'Graveyard' and 1985's 'Moving to Florida'.

The Melvins with Teri Gender Bender 
Aside from continuing to release albums, The Melvins are credited with influencing many bands and genres including the widely successful Grunge movement of the Pacific Northwest.  Crover and Osborne have also collaborated with many artists and bands including Tool, Cows, and even with Mexican punk band Le Butcherettes; who opened for The Melvins at Mercury Ballroom, with front woman  Teri Gender Bender joining The Melvins for a cover of Pop-O-Pies "Fascists Eat Donuts" and Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl" before the show devolved into a highly entertaining feedback/knob-turning experimental explosion by Jeff Pinkus.

Pinkus & Bender

the Jeff Pinkus Feedback Experience
(notice the Flying-V bass resting against the live cabinet)

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