Maybe the idea of The Melvins appeals to me more than their actual music.
I love the influence they have had on heavy music as the godfathers of sludge, their longevity and unselfconscious freakiness.
Yet while their albums underwhelm me, The Melvins have a knack for the killer twelve.
One of my most treasured records of my early teens was King Buzzo from their series of EPs in tribute to Kiss.
So I am loving my recent discovery of an ancient split with Steel Pole Bathtub (me neither and I can’t be bothered to Google, sorry SPB whoever you are) where The Melvins cover Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More, an early classic by long-time favourites of mine, the legendary Mudhoney.
While the original is certainly dark, druggy and droney, especially in comparison to Mudhoney’s typically crunchy, sneering garage-punk, The Melvins slow it down and heave the song into sludgier, stranger territory.
Stripped of fuzz and soaked in reverb, Sweet Young Thing… becomes something more sinister as Buzz Osbourn trades Mark Arm’s snotty vocal for a spacey wail.
I love it.
Check out the Melvins version:
and now the Mudhoney original:
A final note, I do miss the late 80s trend for the proto-grunge bands covering each others songs on splits. The Sonic Youth cover of Touch Me I’m Sick was another classic that easily stands tall with the original.
Oh and if you haven’t ever listened to and rocked the fuck out to Superfuzz Bigmuff, you need to remedy that immediately.