Imagine that you have never heard of The Melvins. Mind-bending, I know but pretend that you did not read Guitar World in the early nineties, that you never heard Stoner Witch, that you did not have that transformational argument with your best friend re: Black Sabbath versus Black Flag. Or pretend you are under 30; either works. In this hypothetical context, ask yourself: are The MelvinsThe Melvins apart from the legend, as encapsulated in the albums that have come out since the second George Bush was presidentany good?
I thought I knew the answer, but then I heard Freak Puke. Granted, it is technically The Melvins LiteBuzzo, Dale Crover and Trevor Dunnbut it redeems the idea of the contemporary Melvins as a touring band. It rocks. It is heavy in the best waythat Melvins way that reminds us why they don't call it "hard metal." Yes, everyone involved is extremely old and so venerated by bearded punk age-outs that they function mainly as theoretical constructs. But The Melvins still sound like a leviathan fungus trying to pry open a locked minivan for beer, and you can still go listen to them. You should.
The Melvins Lite plays The Top Hat Sun., Sept. 9, at 9 PM. $17/$15 advance.