Sunday, October 11, 2015

Throwback Track of the Week: Melvins - Revolve

Grunge pioneers the Melvins built their legacy on defying all preconceptions of what a metal band is.  They are fronted by a big dude with a ridiculous afro, their album covers feature the likes of swans and fruit baskets, and their love for all things absurd absolutely shows itself in the music.  The riffing is as good as you’ll hear anywhere and the heaviness is unrelenting, but everything has to trudge its way through knee-deep sludge. 

On 1994’s album Stoner Witch, they deliver their take on straight up classic rock with Revolve, which sees them at their most melodic and accessible.  The weirdness is still there; with lyrics that hardly make sense when they are even intelligible and an unforeseeable downtempo, whispered bridge section; but overall this thing just flat out ROCKS.  A dynamic start-stop rhythm opens things up for some gnarly riffing, the chorus is nothing short of gargantuan, and the guitar solo is well placed and one of their best executed.  As things lead into the aforementioned bridge it’s hard to not crack a smile at how satisfyingly overblown it all is.

Of course at the center of it all (particularly in the video- see below) is notoriously irreverent frontman Buzz Osbourne.  Despite never seeming to really try, and proudly relying on seeing what he can “get away with”, by this point he had truly become (and continues to be) a master of his domain.  On Revolve he employs phrasing and a vocal delivery that meshes perfectly with his voice, which serves the bands sound as well as absolutely possible.  Hell, even his persona and physical appearance seems to perfectly accentuate the band’s aesthetic as a whole. 

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