The Melvins

Published on October 21st, 2014


The Melvins | Credit: Mackie Osborne

The Melvins | Credit: Mackie Osborne

The Melvins are one of the most important bands of the last three decades and not enough people seem to be willing to say it. Let’s consider a few things about rock ‘n roll in the early 1990s: The form experienced a revolution and, in a sense, a rebirth, one which was delivered via the art of a handful of bands comprised of those famously unshorn, flannel-flying freedom fighters from the pacific northwest. Nirvana, of course, was the band that led the charge and, based on what Kurt Cobain had once said of the Melvins and their influence, Nirvana almost certainly would not have existed had there been no Melvins. This means we could all be living in a musical reality still characterized by spandex pants and terrible power ballads.

The story of the relationship between Nirvana and the Melvins is long, complex, and punctuated by odd tales of intertwinement, like Melvins figurehead Buzz ‘King Buzzo’ Osborne hand delivering Dave Grohl to the fledgling group, however, the band’s sonic influence alone should be enough to gain them far more notoriety than it has ever truly received.

Melvins Poster by Nathaniel Deas

Melvins Poster by Nathaniel Deas

The Melvins’ unique brand of oddity, sludge, and sonic thunder had a massive impact on other facets of the sonic revolution of the ‘90s. For instance, according to Phil Anselmo in a new documentary about the New Orleans heavy music scene, NOLA: Life, Death, and Heavy Blues From the Bayou, listening to the Melvins was the emulsifying agent necessary to help Pantera move on from their speed metal early days to become the genre-changing pummeling force they became.

Beyond all of the impact and influence the Melvins exhibited upon other genres, the band’s sound is directly responsible for the sludge metal genre that has become one of the most exciting and quickly proliferating in all of metal. South Florida’s own incestuous scene of sludge heroes, including bands like Cavity, Floor, Torche, and Holly Hunt, all wear the influence of the Melvins on their music like one of Buzz’s cowl necked muumuus.

The Melvins will be returning to South Florida for the first time in what feels like eons on Wednesday, November 5 to fill the Culture Room’s cozy confines with crushing guitars and a cloud of unfiltered weirdness. The band is currently touring behind it’s very recently released album Hold It In, which features new members Paul Leary and JD Pinkus of Butthole Surfers. Go. Pay tribute to these unsung gods. Revere what they have done and what they are.

Prints of the Culture Room poster will be available at the show and online at Bourbon Sunday Art By Nathaniel Deas. Thank you for letting PureHoney share your art on this months cover!
~Von Bader

Clip to Evernote