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Melvins, Big Business and Porn

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cover imageIt's been nearly two years since I last saw the Melvins (I was out of the country for their last visit) and they have easily blown away all expectations. The fact that they were fucking awesome the last time I saw them speaks volumes. The fear of a Spinal Tap-esque curse surrounding their bassists has not realized itself, the core duo of Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover still have Big Business tagging along for the merry, heavy ride. Last night’s performance was a no bullshit riffathon, proving that the Melvins truly are kings among men.

 

4 October, Dublin, Ireland

cover imageYet again the line up for this tour featured Porn as the opening act and yet again Billy Anderson was not there to play bass. Drafting in one of the roadies to fill in on four-string, the other two members of Porn played a significantly different set to the last time. Crover’s drumming was, as expected, earth-shatteringly heavy. Short of John Bonham playing with sledgehammers, I can imagine few drummers hitting the kit as hard as he hits it. However, unlike his role in the Melvins, Crover spent a lot of time doing nothing and only adding the occasional background noise to Tim Moss’s miasmic feedback noise. Spending as much time playing effects pedals as he did playing his guitar, Moss set a benchmark for volume that would make even Merzbow do a double take. As the noise swelled up and up, the trio would provide release with an almighty riff that Zeus himself fired down to earth on the back of a lightning bolt. Epic is too small a word for it.

cover imageCoady Willis and Jared Warren then swaggered onto the stage and they meant business, Big Business. Willis is one of those few drummers alluded to above that come close to Crover. With just the two of them on stage, it was easy to see why Osbourne and Crover wanted them for their band. Blasting through tracks from their two albums, the crowd began to loosen up. Especially entertaining was Warren’s between song banter, a sharp counterpoint to Osbourne’s stony silence during Melvins sets. Halfway through their allotted time, Crover came out to join Big Business on guitar (as he has done previously on other tours). I cannot understand why they have not gotten Crover into the studio with them (aside from with the Melvins), his playing suits their style down to the ground.

cover imageThe final act of the evening’s entertainment took up their instruments with deadly seriousness and unleashed a world of heaviness on the audience and the audience loved it. By the end of the set, the crowd were a pulsing mass of limbs joined in unholy union, just how it should be. Drawing largely (and predictably) on material from the last two albums (which both feature Big Business as Crover and Osbourne’s other half), the performance went very smoothly. The Nude With Boots tracks really came to life, I must admit to being underwhelmed by that album prior to the show but I left with a newfound enthusiasm for those songs.

The show’s highlights came in quick succession; “A History of Bad Men” from (A) Senile Animal showing how good this line up can be and a stupendous version of “Boris” that showed how good this line up can do with the old material too. Warren finished this latter song in the crowd; molesting members of the audience, drinking their beer and pretending to be some kind of beast. Melvins shows are usually strange but this took the proverbial biscuit. Finishing with a great cover of “Okie from Muskogie” (much better than the one on 2000’s The Crybaby), the band left the audience baying for more but due to a crappy club on after the gig, no encores were to be had. Still, with three quality acts like these, you would be a sap to feel cheated.


Last Updated on Sunday, 05 October 2008 14:37  


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