Review: The Melvins at Capitol, Perth, 3 November 2017

Darkness and colour.

Legendary Washington hard rockers The Melvins were welcomed to the Capitol stage on Friday night, as part of their tour with Californian veterans Redd Kross. The pairing of these two rock outfits displayed a perfect union of colour and darkness.

Redd Kross brought the colour. Warming up the amps with one minute of swirling feedback, the night opened with the Phase Shifter classic ‘Lady in the Front Row’, with the boys pointing out and dedicating it to… you guessed it, the enthusiastic, dancing, lady in the front row. What followed was an entertaining performance of glam, glitter, choreographed hair-swinging and a tonne of fun.

Catchy fuzz-drenched pop songs melding into almost rock opera vocal moments highlighted their great versatility. But behind the showmanship, a talented band is at work. Great songs by fantastic musicians with those trademark Redd Kross harmonies only confirmed exactly why this band has been around so long. The show concluding in the most infectiously fun, over the top, extravagant, exaggerated guitar soloing finish you could imagine. So very Redd Kross.

The Melvins brought the dark. The cult three piece took the stage all in black. Each individually warmed their instruments, while combining to build an intense wall of noise. Iconic guitarist Buzz Osborne prowled the stage to the delight of the packed venue as the tension built, and just when the mood was suitably set, it began. The Melvins’ trademark heavy sound burst into life, from somewhere out of the floor, with their opener ‘Sacrifice’.

For three men, this band has a huge sound. Just as important to the sheer volume of noise this band produces, is the silent spaces between. The Melvins are masters of peppering bone jarring-moments with intermitted dead silences, the staccato drum fire of Dale Crover highlighting the contrasting effect. The Melvins’ lengthy songs are the perfect vehicle to showcase the band’s talents too. They give room for the boys to build, wander and create, and this is a uniquely creative band.

Their legion of loyal fans on deck tonight knew this, and worshipped every second of the aural onslaught. The band, while at times brooding and intense, was also enjoyably playful and truly welcomed the passion their followers exuded. The band and their fans were one tonight and it was a pleasure to witness.

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