The Melvins at the Cornerstone, by Karen Goldman

The Melvins (photo: Karen Goldman)

A few years ago, I came to really understand what living in the Bay Area was all about when I was invited to a group colonic.

You didn’t read that incorrectly.



As tempting as it was, I declined the invitation. However, thanks to the solid sludge of The Melvins, I think I have some idea now what it is like to be part of a collective experience of mutual bowel purification. Every vibration came attached with a snarl, swimming through a sticky mess of low-end. Evoking the smart bass lines of bands like Big Dipper with the unrelenting trashy drama of bands like Flipper, The Melvins took no prisoners as they unleashed theremin-like guitar that really set the guy in the Dune jacket in front of me off.

This is one of the only bands I know that can start a song with the cool, beguiling simplicity of something like the Beatles’ “Come Together,” only to rip open the psychedelic metal sludge of an endless rotating wall of sound, like a sonic gyroscope ablaze.

It was a real drill to the guts, but in a good way.

Openers Redd Kross shared more than just a bassist with the Melvins. They also captivated with unrelenting sound. The highlight from their set was probably “Fighting” off their new album, Beyond the Door. Can you imagine if Guns N’ Roses had ever been good? Or at least worthy of Slash? Well, if they had been, they’d be Red Kross. This is music to drink beer to while wearing your best flowy scarf.

Thanks for the adrenaline-filled evening, fellas. My guts are still recovering.