Show Review – Melvins Lite (w/ Tweak Bird) at the Paradise (01.10.12)

“Are you guys in line for a comedy?”

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of Freak Puke – Melvins most recent LP.

While not a complete abomination a-la Load or Cold Lake, Puke is still far from being ideal – good record from a band that can do much, much better. Safe to say, when the album includes a cover that’s more inspiring than much of the original material surrounding it (we’re talking about Wings classic “Let Me Roll It”, of course), then, Houston – we definitely have a problem.

With that being said, the band still slays live (as seen in a show that they played last night) and in 2012 the world needs Melvins – whether it realizes this or not, if because they’re a breath of fresh air in a stagnant pool of mediocrity that defines so much of pop/rock music coming out today.

Tweak Bird opened with their drum/guitar dual assault. TB (which is a brotherly duo of Caleb and Ashton Bird) were described somewhere else as being similar to Karp and the comparison is certainly valid.

They also reminded me a lot of bands like Sleep with vocals being the only weak spot – no big deal, as you can barely hear vocals during a live show anyway and in that type of music vocals often take a backseat to a sheer aural assault of razor-sharp riffs and heavy-as-concrete drumming.

As for Melvins

This was my third time seeing them (first was one in 2009 when they played with Big Business and second one was in 2011 when the band played few albums back-to back).

And this was a fairly different experience from the previous two show…far more bizarre and humorous than the previous two, I’d say!

Their part of a show as a mix of old/classic Melvins, new Melvins (Melvins Lite, to be exact Рthe trio of Dale Crover, Buzz Osbourne and Trevor Dunn) and Jazz Odyssey-era Spinal Tap.

That last part should be blamed squarely on ex-Bungle Trevor Dunn (whose outfit definitely resembled something stolen from Angus Young wardrobe)  as he played Eruption-style solo improv jams on his bass and all kinds of twisted stuff which added a little bit of spice to the show (as well as some vocal protests coming from different parts of the room Рmost notably a loud groan from the right hand side).

Dunn’s presence definitely added something to fresh to older tunes that Melvins played this evening and new tunes sounded bloody good too (again, I feel that studio versions of said songs weren’t as powerful as their live ones).

Finally, the Spinal Tap-esque tomfoolery went even further with onstage banter provided by Buzz himself in which he talked about being on tour, being a parent while being in a rock band, spending 15 hours a day and driving from Washington to Boston and Pawtucket.

For a grand finale, each member quietly bowed out – first Buzz, then Dunn (grabbing his bass along the way) and finally, Dale Crover closed things out with a Kiss-size drum solo, something that he definitely excels at.

In the meantime, I would keep an eye on Tweak Bird – they just might go places….

Video credit: idlehanz

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