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Melvins

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Montesano, Washington, United States (1983 – present)

Melvins are a band that formed in Montesano, Washington, United States in 1983. The band currently consists of Buzz Osborne (vocals, guitar), Jared Warren (bass), Dale Crover (drums) and Coady Willis (drums). Osborne is the only remaining original member, although Crover has been a member since early in the band’s career.

In the early days of their career their dark, heavy, oppressively slow sound made them innovators of genres like , , and . Melvins’ music is influenced by Flipper, Black Flag’s My War-era and Black Sabbath-style , but their idiosyncratic approach, bizarre sense of humor, and experimentation make neat categorization difficult. Singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne (aka “King Buzzo”) and drummer Dale Crover are constant members while several bass guitarists have cycled through the group. Melvins usually performed as a trio until 2006 when two members of Big Business became permanent members of the band.

The band was named after a grocery clerk at the Thriftway in Montesano, Washington where Osborne was employed. Melvin was the most-hated fellow employee and the band felt it to be an appropriate name. Like SF noisenik predecessors Flipper, their love of slow tempos and sludgy sound were a strong influence on music, especially Nirvana and many other bands from Seattle. Their protegés, however, tended to use more conventional musical structures with this sound.

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  • sglangdon

    Joe was in Earth before the Melvins actually - he left Earth (on bad terms) so he could join the Melvins... Also, if you've not heard any other Big Business you've gotta hear Here Come The Waterworks. That album is killer...

    14 Apr 3:34pm Reply
  • Fureon

    Besides, how is Big Business mediocre? I haven't heard anything but their latest record, Battlefields Forever, but that record has its own definite sound. It's not what I would call mediocre at all.

    13 Apr 10:35pm Reply
  • Fureon

    As for Joe... yes, he was a good bassist, and he was on the landmark epic record Lysol, but do you think he really contributed THAT much? It might look like it was him who brought the drone-doom aspect into the band, but is it really true? I have doubts... Seeing how Buzz wrote Charmicarmicat before Joe's involvement, I'm inclined to think that Buzz wrote Hung Bunny, as it is, as well. Most likely, Joe just happened to join the band at that moment, and then as a result he was fascinated with drone and went on to make his own drone stuff (solo EP and then Thrones), join Earth, et cetera, et cetera. Maybe that's not true, but that's what I think has happened. All in all, Joe was a great bassist, but for a fact, he was a pain in the ass to work with and he probably didn't contribute AS much as you think he did. Bottom line: Every Melvin who ever had the honor to hold the bass was good in their own way and left their mark on the band's sound. So please don't put anybody down. 'kay?

    13 Apr 10:34pm Reply
  • Fureon

    Wow, MilitaryTwoStep, dude, are you crazy? You list The War On Wisdom and A History Of Bad Men as your top songs and at the same time you put down the Big Business guys? Do you realize that if not for them, those songs pretty much wouldn't exist? Even if they did, they would not sound the same. At all! Only when those two joined, the Melvins started doing those big, choral vocals, in which Jared plays a giant role. And overall sound of the band underwent an another metamorphosis. All in all, I believe the Melvins have released none less great material with Big Biz guys than with any other bassists.

    13 Apr 10:28pm Reply
  • sglangdon

    It sounds more like you have an irrational problem with Big Business, which seems pretty unfair...

    10 Apr 4:11pm Reply
  • sglangdon

    Hung Bunny and Roman Dog Bird is definitely one of my favourite things they've done too. They've said Joe was lazy though, which I would guess would mean he didn't contribute a whole lot. They put his name on the back cover of Lysol in massive letters as a joke because he supposedly wanted more credit but didn't do much. I don't think the bass playing is any more notable on Lysol than if Buzz or Dale would have played it, either. I'm not biased against Joe or anything - I prefer his EP to Buzz's, but he gets way too much credit for what he did for the band. No, they didn't NEED another drummer, but it works really nicely with them both panned to different channels - you've got to be crazy if you can't hear the difference... Coady is perfectly capable of keeping up with Dale, too. Also, you've just mentioned A History Of Bad Men as being among your favourite Melvins songs which is one of the few songs on which Jared has lead vocals. I'd consider the vocals a fairly bit part of the song.

    10 Apr 4:07pm Reply
  • MilitaryTwoStep

    i just can't help but feel big melvins would be better if they annexed a not mediocre as FUCK band.

    9 Apr 10:42pm Reply
  • MilitaryTwoStep

    V Hung Bunny is one of the best things the Melvins ever did and given the fact the only good thing on Joe Preston's EP is another track in the same vein I'm more than willing to put it down to him. The bass playing on the whole album is pretty notable and good too, unlike anything with these new dweebs. The drumming is still excellent but did we need a second drummer? Someone to look bad next to Dale the powerhouse Crover? any contribution made could literally just be recreated with a studio overdub and for the most part the extra drum kit isn't even notable.

    9 Apr 10:41pm Reply
  • sglangdon

    Do you seriously think Joe brought more to the Melvins than Coady and Jared? He played on ONE album (3 tracks of which are covers, and it's still their shortest) and that solo EP, which you can't really count, because it's pretty much just a solo EP under the Melvins name... I don't think Lysol would be all that different if it was anyone else in the band, apart from 'With Teeth', which is pretty much Joe's only contribution. Joe's impact on the Melvins is largely negligible... Coady and Jared have made a VERY clear impact on the sound of the band. Jared's vocals and the Coady's additional drumming both give the music a pretty different feel... In terms of contributions to the band I'd put them up there with Rutmanis and Deutrom. Dunn on double bass would probably be up there too. But Joe? No. Really, what did he bring to the band?

    9 Apr 8:27am Reply
  • MilitaryTwoStep

    My favourite Melvins record is Lysol or maybe Stag. My favourite Melvins song is either Antitoxidote "Pigs Don't Let It" or The War on Wisdom. There's an awful lot. A History of Bad Men is also up there.

    8 Apr 10:29pm Reply
  • MilitaryTwoStep

    "Coady and Jared the worst Melvins? I don't think so. " they bring nothing. BRING BACK JOE PRESTON

    8 Apr 10:27pm Reply
  • Ton87

    What is your favourite Melvins album and track? Mine is Houdini and Joan Of Arc

    8 Apr 10:14pm Reply
  • ATG_Ben

    Hail King Buzzo! Here's some of my stuff, you might be interested if you like the Melvins: http://atthegraves.bandcamp.com/ http://www.facebook.com/AtTheGravesBand

    8 Apr 7:47am Reply
  • Tuberkulloosi

    And they said Primus sucked..

    3 Apr 10:05am Reply
  • sglangdon

    Has anyone else checked out Hew Time (Dale and Coady with Joe Plummer - another percussionist) or the acoustic King Buzzo 10"? I found Hew Time surprisingly underwhelming... I was expecting (and hoping for) more of a pummelling assault of drums, which it totally did not deliver. King Buzzo 10" is cool though... I like Drunken Baby a lot.

    1 Apr 10:24am Reply
  • sglangdon

    Worst Melvins is the Melvins in '83 before Dale joined... Coady and Jared are great. One of my favourite Melvins lineups for sure.

    1 Apr 10:12am Reply
  • Sandronic

    Мелвинс и бурундуки

    31 Mar 9:25pm Reply
  • Taki90

    the crybaby is a perfect record;so consistant and so varied !

    28 Mar 2:29pm Reply
  • prettybarf

    It's not Melvins is my favorite board game

    25 Mar 9:42pm Reply
  • Funeral_Opolis

    Coady and Jared the worst Melvins? I don't think so.

    19 Mar 2:05pm Reply
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