Melvins - ATP I'll Be Your Mirror 2012 Review
We head to Ally Pally to watch influential band's ATP set...
Chris Eustace - 26 May 2012
The sunlight may still be streaming in through the windows of Alexandra Palace’s Main Hall to do battle with the sweeping spotlights as the Melvins take to the stage, but its singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne’s grey mop that serves as the real beacon here.
The punk-metallers, equal parts Black Sabbath and Black Flag, do that sludgy sound better than just about everybody else, and they’ve had plenty of time to refine it, as they’ll celebrate thirty years as a band next year. In that time they’ve been a pivotal influence on grunge, with drummer Dale Crover drumming on Nirvana’s pre-‘Bleach’ demos, while Osborne is said to be the one who introduced Dave Grohl to Kurt and Krist. With the stormy likes of ‘Hung Bunny’ and ‘Manky’ shuddering the building’s foundations this evening, it’s clear that Tool and Mastodon were also keeping an ear out in their formative years.
Like those bands, Melvins have also kept evolving, with a recent switch to a “dual-drummer” set-up, with Coady Willis joining Crover behind the kit, reinvigorating the band. Tonight, it makes for a sharp, rhythmic counterpoint to Osborne’s pounding riffs, upgrading ‘The Water Glass’, with its catchy chants of ‘Here we go…rock steady’ to the sound of a conquering army as they march up the hill for their next battle.
It just pips the call-to-arms cover of The Wipers' ‘Youth Of America’ as the highlight of the set, as Osborne berates a world where ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,’ before leaving the stage early to allow the rhythm section to bring ‘The Bit’ to a thunderous close. The varied crowd are looking very glad to have booked today off in advance, and who knows – given Melvins’ vast influence –a few are probably thinking aboutforming their own bands after tonight.