Live review: Pam and Mark Schaff
Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff
Being fans of the Melvins since the early nineties I can’t believe we’ve never seen them perform live. Better late than never, this was a perfect time to catch them live as their in the midst of a US tour supporting the bands 24th studio album ‘Basses Loaded’ via Ipecac Recordings which was released in June. It was even extra special as Steven Shane McDonald from Redd Kross & OFF! who is now playing bass for the Melvins. Being fans of his work, it made the evening even more special. We couldn’t wait for the show to start.
First up was the Seattle band Helms Alee. Members Dana James-Bass/Vocals, Hozoji Margullis-Drums/Vocals & Ben Verellen-Guitar/Vocals who is also the amp guru behind the amplifier company Verellen Amplifiers. Some heavy hitters in the rock world have been seen on stage using Verellen amps in the last few years. If your a guitar or bass player check out the Verellen facebook link below.
The band is currently out supporting Their new album ‘Stillicide’, which comes out 9/2. Once the band started playing the large crowd at the Buffalo Iron Works gravitated to the stage and it was obvious by the crowds reaction they loved what they were hearing. This band is loud and sound amazing. They played their brand of melodic yet sludgy, post-hardcore style music. So much was going on musically watching this band you can’t help but be drawn in as Dana and Hozoji sang beautiful pop harmonies which blended well with Ben’s hardcore style vocals. They sounded great. If you like bands like Kylesa. You’ll love Helms Alee.
Dodge The Lightning
Tit To Toe
Pretty As Pie
Ripper No Lube
Time for the Melvins! Buzz Osbourne (King Buzzo)- Guitar/Vocals, Dale Crover-Drums/Vocals and Steven Shane McDonald-Bass/Vocals gave the crowd an amazing performance as Dale and Steven wore KISS style t-shirts that said “Dale” and the other said “Steve” just in case you didn’t know who was who. Of course Buzz with his trademark hair style that, by the way Side Show Bob, obviously stole from Buzz. Wearing his trademark turtle neck moo moo with it’s embroidered flames & all seeing eye. Their energetic style, and very capable chops made for incredible show.
They hit the stage and broke into a slow tension filled build into the song ‘Eye Flys’ from their first album the 1987, ‘Gluey Porch Treatments.
The Melvins are known to be fans of Kiss, so the second song was no surprise, to be a great cover of the KISS classic ‘Deuce’ which Steven sings, before going into the fan favorite ‘Queen’ off the ‘Stoner Witch’ album. They do ‘The Kicking Machine’ and ‘National Hamster’ which is a great song off of ‘The Bulls & The Bees’ EP it was great seeing them perform these songs live.
They even do a Redd Kross song ‘Janus, Jeanie and George Harrison’ as Steven steps up to the mic again.
They do a killer cover of the Alice Cooper song ‘Halo Of Flies’. Which is a perfect song for a band like the Melvins to do. They recorded a rendition of it with Jello Biafra on the Album ‘Sieg Howdy’ I have to say tonights version with Buzz singing sounded better. That’s saying a lot as we love Jello!
They played a few songs from the new album, including a great new song called ‘The Decay Of Lying’, that and ‘Hideous Women’ both sounded great. We were a little bummed they didn’t play ‘War Pussy’ really love that song, who wouldn’t with a title like that!
Buzz & Dale are super huge baseball fans so it was fitting they ended the night with the sing along song ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game’
The Melvins played a crushing set showing they still got the goods after 33 years! Their tongue and cheek, we don’t care what you think of us attitude has not softened one bit. The Melvins are still sitting on top of the Sludge throne and I don’t see any band about to knock them down any time soon. That being said, the Melvins are much more than just a Sludge band they pretty much run the rock spectrum. Hell they even have a few jazzy tunes under their belts. That’s what makes the Melvins a unique band. There will never be another Melvins! I would highly recommend catching them live. Do yourself a favor and don’t wait as long as we did.
Prior to the show we sat down with Buzzo, Dale & Steven. We had a great time chatting with these guys. Very down to earth and funny as you would probably expect. They don’t act like rock stars at all which make us love them even more. Be sure to check out our interview.
Deuce (Kiss Cover)
Janus, Jeanie and George Harrison (Redd Kross Cover)
Mr Rip Off
Halo Of Flies (Alice Cooper Cover)
Sesame Street Meat
Onions Make The Milk Taste Bad
The Decay Of Lying