True underground-rock royalty, the Melvins have been soundtracking lung-busting bong marathons for more than two decades. All Music Guide calls the trio's music "one massive, oozing pile of dark slime," but it's some pretty resilient, influential slime. Kurt Cobain's failed audition for the band led him to form Nirvana - and longtime drummer Dale Crover filled in behind the kit briefly in Nirvana before Dave Grohl came aboard - while onetime bassist Matt Lukin went on to found Mudhoney. (His replacement, according to Wikipedia, was former child star and U.S. ambassador Shirley Temple Black's daughter, Lori "Lorax" Black.)
Over the years, the Melvins have collaborated with artists like Faith No More/Mr. Bungle/Tomahawk chieftain Mike Patton (who also runs the band's current label, Ipecac Records), Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra - who took over vocals on theNever Breathe What You Can't See
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(2005) albums - and Kiss' Gene Simmons, who sat in on bass at some of the band's Lollapalooza dates in 1993 and 1994. Besides more or less inventing grunge, it's safe to say the entire stoner-rock genre would not exist (or be much different) without them; the Melvins are also a key influence on the more avant-garde noise-metal of bands like Boris and Bleach 03.
"Honey Bucket," from 1993's Houdini
It's hard to imagine a more prolific band, especially considering how much weed they must smoke. The Melvins are up to their old tricks again on brand-new album Nude With Boots, which, not counting live records, compilations, tribute albums (2005's We Reach: The Music of the Melvins, with Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan, High on Fire and Isis) and whatnot, is the band's 18th album since 1986 debut 10 Songs. - Chris Gray
Tonight at Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel. 8 p.m. doors. The equally heavy Big Business, which shares two members with the Melvins, opens.