Melvins, Detroit Bar, October 24, 2007

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Melvins' Buzz Osborne, redefining “hair metal.”

I'll make this brief because intern Alex Vallejo will be posting a more exhaustive report later today, but I just wanted to say that underground-metal masters Melvins came, saw and conked our noggins with their patented planet-shifting sound. No surprise there.

However, what was surprising was Melvins' cover of the Beatles' “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which they dispensed with poker faces and terseness early in their hour-plus set. Of the billions of songs in the universe, this 1963 smash hit is far down on the list I'd expect this LA quartet to tackle. But it worked through the sheer unexpected absurdity of it all.

Having dual drumming commandos Dale Crover and Coady Willis (also of opening group Big Business) is almost like fielding John Bonham and Bill Ward in your engine room. These studly sticksmen play with astounding power and finesse; they put on a freakin' drumming seminar up there. Guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osbourne and bassist Jared Warren (also of opening group Big Business) generate an incredibly low-slung, girthful sound that substantially ups your testosterone levels, but not assholistically so. It's a sound that makes you wish you could bubble-wrap your internal organs.

It was a fuggin' sausage party in the crowd, which was full of beefy, tattooed white guys in black T-shirts. Their (mostly) unmoronic machismo matched that of the robust dark metal coming from the band.

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