10. King Buzzo's Hair. - I'm pretty certain that, somewhere inside that massive fro, one could find Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart and every single sock and earring that has ever been eaten by the dryer or lost in a bar room. Trust me, this hair is legendary and it is impossible not to stare at it.
9. The Costumes – If music was a middle school Halloween party, The Melvins would be the kids who sewed their own costumes out of scraps instead of buying them from the super store across the street. The hems are ragged and they often don't make any sense, but there is something undeniably engaging about watching four grown men traipse onto a stage in smocks and robes that look like they could have been refashioned from your grandmother's hope chest.
8. At $20 A Pop, Tickets Are a Bargain – This may seem like a stupid reason, but ticket prices for similarly legendary bands who are also touring this summer (like The Pixies and Primus) are exorbitantly priced to the point of exclusion. The Melvins simply do not roll that way. The venues are small, the tickets are affordable, and you still get that same feeling of nostalgia and pride. Additionally, you can purchase records and T-shirts directly from the band here, without feeling like you're being asked to fill the pockets of some corporate whore.
7. Bragging Rights- Cheap, yes, but let's be honest here: We all know that, one day, someone younger than us is going to ask about this band. Most likely, they will have learned about them via Nirvana and they will come to us and say “Hey, did you ever see the Melvins live? Kurt Cobain loved them.” You will be able to say “yes”, and then go on to bore them with endless details such as “King Buzzo had dinosaurs on his robe,” and “they played for a full hour and a half.”
6. It may actually be impossible to find a show with a more purely enthusiastic crowd of fans outside of a teeny bopper pop concert - Yes, The Melvins are something of an indie music badge of honor, the knowledge of whom can often guarantee that one is, indeed, a tragically uncool music geek (read: pretentious pain in the ass who knows more than you). However, once faced with seeing their odd idols on stage, their primary fan base becomes a jelly-like mass of excitement. No crossed arms and ironic head bobbing here.
5. The Melvins Are Our MC5- They are influential like no other band from our generation, yet they are relatively obscure. Sure, many people have heard of them, but they are not multi-platinum hit makers or aging rock demi-gods. They are simply amazing musicians who play what they want to hear and, in turn, what every band you have loved wants to hear.
4. The Melvins Play Like You Used To Dream You Would – It is a simple fact that all rock fans have had, at one point or another, intense rock star fantasies. Chances are that these fantasies included facts like “I will always play like I love it.” and “I will never be jaded by my own fame.” This is one band who, with their costumes and feedback and excitement, never looks like are working. Instead, the Melvins play their entire set like they are simply happy to be there, doing something they love and playing what they want to hear. As we get older, and the bands we cut our teeth on do too, this is becoming more and more of a rarity.
3. Absolutely Insane Tandem Drumming – Drummers Coady Willis and Dale Crover play in perfect tandem and with an insane amount of enthusiasm while also providing vocals. This may not sound like anything special, but consider that they do it without ever appearing as though they are doing anything that remotely resembles hard work. Watching these guys play could make even the most rhythm-less among us (read: me) believe, for just a second, that we could be doing the same exact thing.
2. Five Full Minutes Of Feedback – It's pretty much guaranteed that, somewhere amidst the enthusiastic drumming mentioned above, a break will be required. The Melvins accomplish this by delivering a five minute bout of the least physically showy, yet auditory mind blowing, feedback I have ever witnessed. This is the kind of feedback that makes you feel as though you have entered another realm of existence entirely, the kind you haven't encountered since 1994.
1. If Phil Spector Created A Wall Of Sound, The Melvins Have Created A Fucking Labyrinth - Many bands manage to make you feel like their live performance is a brick wall of noise, which is smacking you in the face at all times. The Melvins make you feel as though you are lost inside that wall, running your hands through it and trying to decide if you ever want to be found. Forget the old adages like “face melting” and consider that you might actually lose your fingernails in the excitement and power of it all.
-Shannon (whose ears are still ringing 2 days later)