The Melvins brought their parallel-world version of intelligent, idiosyncratic hard rock to an appreciative crowd at the Grog Shop last night.
The band's recent shift to a four-piece, two-drummer lineup has not only yielded three strong albums — including this year's The Bride Screams Murder — it's completely re-energized the group's live shows, which really don't need much help in the first place.
Over two sets and about 20 songs, band mainstays Buzz Osbourne (guitars and vocals) and Dale Crover (drums) mixed pummeling riffs and clever arrangements with a sense of dynamics that elevated their music beyond parking-lot metal or shopping-mall punk.
The show kicked off with a call-to-arms cover of Flipper's "Sacrifice." By the time the slow-building second song of the night, "A Civilized Worm," had reached its epic climax, any problems you may have brought into the Grog were forgotten.
Osbourne, Crover, and recent recruits Coady Willis (drums) and Jared Warren (bass) proceeded to tear through a set heavy on songs from Bride, along with dusted-off back catalog fan favorites like "Black Bock" and "Amazon," whose clattering percussion has been crying out for a performance by this lineup for years.
A slowed-down take on the Who's "My Generation" was a rare obvious and unnecessary move, but a blazing read-through of Karp's "Bacon Industry" ended the night on a strong note. —Matthew Wilkening