The Melvins’ Canadian tour kicks off tonite in Rochester, which Ontarians know as part of Lower Canada, the unofficial 11th province. (Hey, their stores take Canadian money!) The 15-date tour will wind its way across the country, from Montreal to Vancouver, before heading down the West Coast to San Fran on July 20th. There are no less than four Ontario dates on the docket this week, with stops in Ottawa, Toronto, London and even Hamilton–the band hits the Opera House in TO on Thursday. But this isn’t your typical Melvins tour; it’s something slightly different. Billed as Melvins Lite, this lineup features just one drummer (Dale Crover, natch) and includes Trevor Dunn from Mr. Bungle on stand-up bass.
Of course, the Melvins are quite familiar with doing things differently. They’ve released all sorts of cover songs throughout their career, from their take on the “Love Theme from KISS” on 1989′s Ozma to digging up the Paul McCartney deep cut “Let Me Roll It” for their latest album, Freak Puke. Through various split singles and bonus tracks, they’ve covered enough material to compile an album of cover songs, and there are plenty of other artists’ renditions that they’ve only played live. While some of their takes are pretty true to the original, they usually tend to put their own spin on things. Here are five of my favourite Melvins covers, counted down over the next five days.
5. “Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More”
In 1989, the Melvins recorded a split seven-inch single with their Boner Records label-mates Steel Pole Bathtub, with each band covering a tune from another band in the Seattle scene. SPB took on Sonic Youth’s “I Dreamed, I Dream” on the B Side, while Side A saw the Melvins put their spin on this classic Mudhoney track, adding another layer of doom-and-gloom with some rougher garage-rock production. This is probably my favourite Mudhoney song, but I think the Melvins version is just as good–if not better–than the original. Here, have a listen: