The Melvins: Big Business and Melvins Lite @VK* Club, Brussels BE – 24 April 2013


20130301-123116-204286“Hello music lovers! I am Buzz and I play in The Melvins. He is Dale and plays in … The Melvins. This is Trevor Dunn and he as well plays in The Melvins.” Words of wisdome from a typical speech of Buzz Osborne, musician of a total independent style, the mentor and friend of Kurt Cobain, founder of Fantômas and of course The Melvins, band quoted as big influence by any grunge band, but also for Tool or Mastodon.

This lineup with Buzz, Dale and Trevor Dunn is actually the group formula with 3 members, called Melvins Lite.

When it comes to bands with a long and prolific activity it’s difficult to explain who and in what other projects they play without getting lost in a distasteful chronological list of names and years. But The Melvins made our job easy: the band Big Business, who opened the event, is the project of Jared Warren and Coady Willis, who along with Buzz and Dave Crover represents The Melvins. This explains also a phenomenon I haven’t met in a long time, maybe never: the hall was a full house during the opening band’s concert as well.

I never understood why they’ve chosen the term “lite” for the formula with Trevor Dunn. He plays with Tomahawk and Secret Chiefs 3, and collaborated with John Zorn and Mr Bungle. It’s a heavy name in the current music scene. And in Melvins Lite, he’s replacing the bass … with a contrabass which he wields wonderfully.

Dale Crover had the opportunity to address the public as well. He stopped in the middle of the concert shouting extremely nervous: “Who threw beer on stage? If someone throws beer again on stage, we’re done! I’m serious! No beer on stage!” Actually, nobody threw beer on stage, it simply jumped very natural from the… mosh pit. This was the concert: a lot of energy, lot of strong sound, a lot of movement in public.

Leaving aside the chronology and other attempts to classify their musical style, I can say that the Melvins experience opens the doors of perception to Black Sabbath and Swans. This is because The Melvins have an inimitable style, consistent, non-conformist. They are not grunge, not punk, not noise, not even a mixture of all these. They are … The Melvins are sing remarkably album after album since 1983. At this concert I have also learned a new dimension for the term “going through”. The drumming style of Dale is an exact and firm but purifying burst, that goes right through you towards the back hall. And the fact that VK Concerts is the venue with the best sound in Brussels was pure blessing.

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