Local Wire


What makes these proto-grunge mainstays stand out from the crowd? Is it their low-and-slow sludge musicianship? Their glory days as the elder statesmen of the Northwest music scene? Lead singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne's irrepressible Robin Lopez hairdo? Naw. It's their dang Protestant work ethic. In the two-plus decades since their debut long-play, Gluey Porch Treatments, dropped in 1987, the Melvins have cut 17 studio albums, not to mention a massive supplement of live and compilation discs. That's some serious productivity, yo. In fact, hard work is such a valued principle in Melvinland that Osborne once jettisoned bassist and sometime girlfriend Lori Black (the real-life daughter of Shirley Temple) because "we tended to wanna work a little harder than she was willing to do." Loud, experimental, and subversively funny, the Melvins are often sited as inspiration for the likes of Nirvana and Tool and survive as a living link between modern punk and the genre's Black Flag/Circle Jerks golden era. Supporting their just-released disc, The Bride Screamed Murder, the band is coming through town on their way to Bonnaroo later this month.
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Craig Outhier