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The Melvins


What? On July 8, the Melvins will release their 23rd album in 24 years, Nude With Boots, on Ipecac Recordings. The sludge-rock mainstays are known for consistently crafting the gnarliest of slow-tempo metal offerings, a tradition triumphantly upheld throughout Nude. The continued inclusion of noise duo Big Business on recent recordings anchors the riffs, while the effect of two drummers brings an uncharacteristic brightness to the tempo. This double-drum dominance is most obvious in the album’s title track (available for download below), while songs like “Dies Iraea” and “The Savage Hippy” continue the Melvins’ time-honored stoner bog sound.

Who? The Melvins’ influence on the development of rock in the past two decades cannot be underemphasized. Though their commercial heyday came in the wake of Nirvana’s success — a time when every West Coast group sporting flannel had A&R men banging down their door — core members Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover had been developing their sound out of weighty Black Sabbath riffs and Swans-inspired death-drone since the early-’80s.

Kurt Cobain was a fan of the Melvins before Nirvana even existed, helping them transport gear to shows and auditioning to be their bassist (he was allegedly so nervous he utterly bombed). The Melvins are even credited with introducing Dave Grohl to Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, and have worked with Cobain, as well as Jello Biafra and members of Tool. The band currently includes Coady Willis and Jared Warren of Big Business, bringing their roster to a record four members.

Fun Fact: Frontman King Buzzo is notoriously cantankerous, dismissing former acquaintances without hesitation. In one interview, the singer said, “I honestly believe if Cobain, Cornell and what’s his face from Alice in Chains had looked like Fat Albert they wouldn’t have sold any records.”

Now Hear This: “Nude With Boots” (DOWNLOAD MP3)