HOUSECORE HORRORFEST RECAP: Day Two

Got up early on Saturday, albeit not early enough to catch the start of the Bloody Mary Breakfast screening.  Instead, I took a walk down by the lake, where I got to see the U of T women’s rowing team in action, then went in for some 99-cent breakfast tacos.  That’s right, I said breakfast tacos.

IMG_0191From left: chorizo, bacon and ham…

Now, I gotta say these were really hot and greasy–grease was just dripping down onto the plate with every bite!  But the chorizo had a nice kick, there were some mighty big chunks of ham, and the salsa added a little extra bite.  The bacon taco kinda paled by comparison, but hey, who can complain about a 99-cent taco?  I can’t even remember what the restaurant was called, but I’m sure they’ll still have the sign next time. ;)

Anyways, my day got underway with a screening of Decibel’s 100th Issue Show: The Movie, which was a well-shot concert film featuring the likes of Evoken, Repulsion, Municipal Waste and Converge.  If you like any of those bands, it’s certainly worth watching, particularly on the big screen in the Grindhouse Tent.

By contrast, Slow Southern Steel was showing on a much smaller screen in the Zombie Room, a zumba studio they had rented for the occasion.  Let’s just say I once considered skipping the Super Bowl to see this movie, so I was pretty pleased that all I had to miss this time was some college football.  The southern-rock doc did a pretty good job of capturing the sounds and personalities of the sludge scene, without shying away from contentious issues like the confederate flag or Hurricane Katrina.  There’s definitely more of a narrative arc to this one than Such Hawks, Such Hounds, which is to say it actually has a narrator.  And I think that unearthing childhood pictures and first-record purchases of everyone from Jimmy Bower to Mike IX to Hank III was a nice added touch.  If you’re into sludge, you should certainly see this–if you haven’t already, that is.

After back-to-back films, I was able to catch the back half of Hate Eternal’s set at Antone’s.  I gotta say, I don’t listen to a lotta death metal nowadays, so it all sounds like Cannibal Corpse to me, heh heh.

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While Antone’s transitioned from concert venue to movie theatre, I headed across the street for some beef brisket at the Blue Ox BBQ truck.  Cuz you can’t go to Austin without eating from at least one food truck, right?  Turns out this one shares a back patio with The Buzz Mill, a coffee shop that also serves beer.  In fact, I just so happened to be wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt, and they just so happened to be playing Maiden as I walked in.  And when I mentioned that “Number of the Beast” was my favourite Maiden tune, the bartender poured me a free beer.  Man, if I can ever convince some company to give me a green card, I am soooo moving to Austin!

IMG_0193Brisket on a bun topped with self-serve pickles, onions and jalapenos.  They were almost out of pickles, though.

Since the openers at Emo’s were less than impressive, I instead opted to attend the world premiere of Zombex, a living-dead flick shot in NOLA and nearby East Texas.  Despite a shoestring budget, the film still doled out bit parts to Malcom McDowell, Corey Feldman, Sid Haig (aka Captain Spaulding) and… Tom Araya.  Yuuup, the Slaytastic one even makes a brief appearance.  Anyhoo, twas just your basic PTSD-drug-turns-people-into-zombies-must-drive-to-Austin-with-lesbians-for-antidote flick. :D

Frankly, I would’ve been fine if Goatwhore and Whitechapel had switched spots on the bill, but as it stands, I missed the former and only caught a couple songs of the lattter.  Let’s just say they double-kicked my head in…

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Duuuuude, it’s like their singer’s levitating or something:

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Though they’ve long ago achieved headlining status, what with their 30 years in the business, the Melvins are actually pretty well-suited to a 45-minute opening set.  They don’t stop to talk to the crowd and waste little time between songs, playing the proverbial “less talk, more rock” credo perfectly.  All things considered, they didn’t disappoint.

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Mr. Anselmo approves.

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Now, I hadn’t seen GWAR live in over seven years, but suffice to say, not much has changed in their camp.  Mind you, they’re no longer slaughtering George W. Bush on stage–they’ve moved on to Queen Elizabeth, Justin Bieber and Pope Francis.  Fortunately, I was just out of the way of the spray, although I managed to get residual traces of GWAR paint on my pants from leaning against the rail… the following evening.  (I guess that stuff doesn’t wash out of metal?)

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Yeah, I’m not sure what this thing is, either…

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But here’s the queen…

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The Biebs…

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…and The Pope:

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They even had their own Eddie-sized… thing:

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And if you thought that was weird, well, it only gets weirder.  Over at Antone’s, Attila Csihar of Mayhem and Sunn O)))))))))) fame did a live score of 1920 silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.  Which is to say, he hissed and whispered for 67 minutes while lit up like a Christmas tree.  Got a standing ovation in Austin, mind you.

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More pics tomorrow! ;)

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10 REASONS TO ATTEND HOUSECORE HORROR FEST: 2. EyeHateDale

The Housecore Horror Film Festival, curated by one Philip H. Anselmo, is hitting Austin, Texas this weekend (October 24-27).  Let’s just say that I don’t often travel to a film festival, but when I do, it helps to have a heavy soundtrack backing some seriously sinister cinema.  Take the Midnight Madness lineup at TIFF, combine it with the heaviest lineup at SXSW–cuz, y’know, NXNE rarely books any metal bands–and you’re headed for a helluvatime.  (Fuck, did I just quote Slik Toxik!?)  That is, if you’ve already purchased your pass; I hear these things are pretty much sold out now…

In any case, here are 10 reasons why I’m looking forward to this shindig.

10. Blood Farmers

9. Death Metal Angola

8. Pallbearer

7. Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals

6. Cannibal Holocaust

5. GWAR

4. Slow Southern Steel

3. Melvins

2. EyeHateDale

eyehatedale(Whaddaya mean it’s not the same band photo!? They’re wearing the same facial expressions!)

When Eyehategod drummer Joe LaCaze passed away in August, the band understandably cancelled all its September appearances, including a date in Baltimore with Agnostic Front and the Cro-Mags that I was kinda looking forward to.  Their status for the Housecore Fest was clearly up in the air then, but unlike their fellow NOLA natives in Crowbar, they’ve soldiered through… with a little help from the band that replaced Crowbar on the bill.

Enter Dale Crover, a can-basher you just might have heard of.  Not long after the Melvins were added to the fest, it was announced that he’d also be pulling double-duty with EHG, who I’ve temporarily rechristened EyeHateDale for the occasion.  No word as to which songs will comprise their 35-minute set, but I’m kinda hoping they play this one:

10 REASONS TO ATTEND HOUSECORE HORROR FEST: 3. Melvins

The Housecore Horror Film Festival, curated by one Philip H. Anselmo, is hitting Austin, Texas this weekend (October 24-27).  Let’s just say that I don’t often travel to a film festival, but when I do, it helps to have a heavy soundtrack backing some seriously sinister cinema.  Take the Midnight Madness lineup at TIFF, combine it with the heaviest lineup at SXSW–cuz, y’know, NXNE rarely books any metal bands–and you’re headed for a helluvatime.  (Fuck, did I just quote Slik Toxik!?)  That is, if you’ve already purchased your pass; I hear these things are pretty much sold out now…

In any case, here are 10 reasons why I’m looking forward to this shindig.

10. Blood Farmers

9. Death Metal Angola

8. Pallbearer

7. Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals

6. Cannibal Holocaust

5. GWAR

4. Slow Southern Steel

3. Melvins

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I must admit, I was a bit bummed out when Crowbar dropped off the bill.  After all, it was the initial announcement of Crowbar, Eyehategod and Down (oh my!) that piqued my interest about the festival in the first place.  Alas, while I’ll just hafta catch Kirk Windstein and co some other time, the fest has found a more-than-adequate replacement in the fearsome threesome from Seattle.  I’m guessing they won’t be bringing their dual-drummer lineup, seeing as their new album–which comes out in a couple weeks–is called Tres Cabrones, but you really can’t go wrong with the Melvins, no matter how many cabrones are on stage.  Hell, who knows, maybe they’ll even bust out a Crowbar cover for the occasion… they’re certainly no strangers to cover tunes, including this one, my personal favourite:

TOP 10 CONCERTS OF 2012

Y’know, it almost feels like I didn’t attend as many concerts as I did last year.  Mind you, if I were to count up and tally every local gig I went to, there’d probably be twice as many shows that didn’t make the cut as there are gigs on here.  And hey, looking at this list, there’s really nothing but quality from start to finish.  As it were, the top gigs I saw in 2012 spanned two countries, three states and five cities, although most of them occurred in Toronto, naturally.  Here they are in ascending order…

10. Accept/Kreator @ The Phoenix, September 12th

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Accept was one of the bands that first got me into metal back in the day, and I certainly can’t complain about their latest post-reunion album, either.  The subsequent tour saw them team up with Teutonic thrashers Kreator for what turned out to be a pretty bitchin’ double bill.

CHOICE WORDS: And yes, they still played all the hits, “Fast as a Shark,” “Restless and Wild,” “Breaker,” “Princess of the Dawn,” “Balls to the Wall” and “Teutonic Terror”–the latter of which firmly belongs in the Accept canon.  If they can pull a couple more “Terrors” out of their army helmets in the next studio session, I know I’ll be back for Round 4 — Accept: Third time’s slightly less charming… (Hellbound.ca)

Click for more pics!

On that note, check out my top 10 German metal bands.

9. Melvins Lite @ Opera House, July 5th

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The Seattle sludge forefathers/idols of Cobain were sporting a slightly different lineup this time around.  Eschewing their recent double-drumkit attack, they went out as Melvins Lite, a three-piece featuring Trevor Dunn (of Mr. Bungle fame) on standup bass.  That said, I can now attest that this incarnation is almost equally excellent as the full-bodied, five-per-cent-alcohol version. ;)

CHOICE WORDS: Having seen the Melvins last time, I sorta knew what to expect.  They went on right at 10, played for 75 minutes, didn’t really do an encore (although both Buzz ‘n Dale left the stage for a Trevor Dunn bass solo) and left everybody satisfied yet wanting more. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: MELVINS, Retox @ Opera House, July 5, 2012

They also did a bitchin’ cover of Sir Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It.”  I count down my top five Melvins cover tunes over here.

8. Corrosion of Conformity/Torche/Black Cobra @ Opera House, June 21st

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Another reinvigorated, stripped-down lineup performing at the Opera House, and just as couple weeks before the Melvins, as it were.  I’ve really dug COC’s self-titled comeback record–and that new EP ain’t too shabby, either!  When they took their act on the road with possibly the best stoner/sludge/whatever lineup to hit Toronto this year, needless to say I made sure to mark it on my calendar.

CHOICE WORDS: Seeing a good chunk of the record in the flesh a few feet from my face only reaffirms its status as a top contender for Album of the Year 2012 in my books.  And it’s safe to say that Mike Dean isn’t lip-synching on stage, either.  His voice is just as raw, his delivery as garbled as it was in ’85. — COC still sounds good to me! (Hellbound.ca)

More pics here!

7. Iron Maiden/Alice Cooper @ Molson Amphitheatre, July 13th

(This was taken by someone with a much better camera than me.)

Another band that I’ve been listening to for a really long time, and for whom I’m guaranteed to be in attendance at their biennial Toronto concerts, is Iron Maiden.  I’ve seen ‘em at the Amp a couple times now, as well as the ACC.  And while I’ve never been able to get floor tickets at the former, you really don’t need to be in front of the stage to enjoy Maiden in concert, lemme tell ya!  They also got bonus points this year for bringing Alice Cooper along as an opening act; twas worth getting there early, that’s for sure…

CHOICE WORDS: Though they didn’t have me leaping out of my seat by starting their set with “Moonchild,” the elaborate stage production coupled with a classic set certainly won me over by the end of the night.  By injecting the aforementioned “Trooper” and “2 Minutes” into the set, along with “The Number of the Beast,” “Run to the Hills” and “Phantom of the Opera,” it certainly made the material from their 1988 release appear more palatable. — Maiden pulls out all the stops to make Seventh Son number one! (Hellbound.ca)

In case you’re wondering how they stack up, I compared Maiden’s back catalogue to Cooper’s–albeit with a 10-year distance–back in July.

6. Witch Mountain/Blood Ceremony/Castle @ Hard Luck Bar, June 13th

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The first appearance of Witch Mountain on Torontonian soil–surprisingly, they’d be back by October–was arguably the best stoner/doom gig this city had seen in 2012.  (OK, maybe second best–more on that later…)  Bolstered by support bands Blood Ceremony and Castle, this three-headed Medusa delivered an unhealthy triple dose of female-fronted doom, capped off by the headliners showcasing the just-released Cauldron of the Wild album in its entirety.  The initial live impression might not have been as overpowering as when I first stumbled across South of Salem, which I’d later crown as album of that year, but it was definitely right up there, to be sure.  You can bet their new record figures on my list for 2012, too–more on that tomorrow! ;)

CHOICE WORDS: I was a little disappointed that they only played one song offa South of Salem, opting instead to play their new album in its entirety, but y’know what, that new record is pretty amazing in its own right–as seen last night. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: Witch Mountain, Blood Ceremony, Castle @ Hard Luck Bar, June 13th

On that note, check out my list of the top 10 female-fronted doom bands going!

5. All That Is Heavy II feat. Iron Man, Blood Ceremony, Blizaro, Revelation @ Mavericks, Ottawa, May 12th

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Yes indeed, Blood Ceremony appears twice on this list.  (Their gig with Ghost back in January missed the cut, mind you.)  But while they headlined this biennial(?) festival in the nation’s capital, the biggest draw for yours truly, who’s seen BC about a dozen times, was the first-ever Canadian appearance for Maryland doomsters Iron Man.  Hey, if you’re keeping score at home, Iron Man finished two spots higher than Iron Maiden this year. ;)

CHOICE WORDS: New frontman Dee Calhoun is quite the imposing figure, but this band is truly the Al Morris Show, the man channeling Iommi for some serious doom riffage!  And I must say, Mr. Morris and his cohorts were much more animated than the last time I remembered… — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: All That Is Heavy II @ Maverick’s, Ottawa, May 12th

4. Church of Misery/Hail! Hornet/The Gates of Slumber @ Studio Seven, Seattle, WA, June 9th

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I don’t wanna say that Seattle is like a home away from home–fact of the matter is, I’ve only been there twice.  But as a long-time Seahawks fan, I definitely feel a certain connection to the city.  And while I didn’t fly out there back in June solely to see Church of Misery (along with TGOS and Hail! Hornet), you could say I feel a certain connection to the Japanese serial-killer stoner-doomsters as well.  And since the closest date on their first-ever North American tour was Philly, well, I figured I’d head out to the Land of the Hawks instead…

CHOICE WORDS: This being the last date of the tour, Church of Misery brought Karl Simon and T-Roy up on stage for a rousing rendition of “War is Our Destiny” with the other members of TGOS and Hail Hornet lurking in the background.  This is the great thing about seeing the last date of a tour–the headliner not having any merch left, well, that’s the not-so-great thing. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: CHURCH OF MISERY, Hail Hornet, The Gates of Slumber @ Studio Seven, Seattle, June 9, 2012

3. Saint Vitus/Weedeater/Sourvein @ The Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH, September 29th

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Incidentally, Vitus also took the third spot on last year’s list, albeit their all-too-brief Metalliance Tour appearance left me wanting more.  Fortunately, with a new record in the can, the band embarked on their first North American tour in nearly two decades, and a Saturday night in Cleveland Heights was alright with me, merci!  (That said, trying to catch a cab in Cleveland at 1 am isn’t tons o’ fun…)  You could even say the added bonus of Weedeater and Sourvein made the seven-hour bus ride worthwhile.

CHOICE WORDS: Vitus came through with a solid 13-song set that included all the non-instrumental numbers off their new album, a fistful from Hallow’s Victim, and other classic tunes like “Dying Inside,” “I Bleed Black,” “The Troll” and of course, “Born Too Late.”  Unbeknownst to me beforehand, the 29th was Wino’s birthday, and even though he’s now 51, old age didn’t stop him from stage diving on a couple occasions. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: SAINT VITUS, Weedeater, Sourvein @ Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH, September 29, 2012

Leading up to this gig, I reviewed every single Saint Vitus album.  Perhaps that’ll give you some idea of what you missed. :P

2. Dream Death reunion @ 31st Street Pub, Pittsburgh, PA, April 21st

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If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably noticed quite a few big-name metal bands on this list.  However, one of the best gigs I saw all year was when I took a little trip down to Pittsburgh to catch a cult band that only released one album–way back in 1987.  Although they don’t fit its modern-day description, Dream Death actually coined the term “sludge metal,” and like several sludge bands, their sound is somewhat of a head-on collision between hardcore punk and doom.  This home-town, one-off (well, they are playing next year’s Days of the Doomed fest…) gig was sold out in advance, packing a bar about twice the size of the Bovine, and the energy was certainly palpable.  Now this is why I collect Air Miles, right here! ;)

CHOICE WORDS: As Dream Death took an awfully long time to set up, you could feel the anticipation building, along with the urge to urinate–but hey, I was NOT giving up my spot for this.  It was, after all, their first gig in 24 years!  But the band sounded as good as ever, hell, better than some of the dodgy demos and bootlegs in their discography. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: DREAM DEATH/ARGUS @ 31st St Pub, Pittsburgh, April 21, 2012

1. Kyuss Lives @ Cherry Cola’s, January 1st

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I may have initially balked at shelling out 200 bucks to see Kyuss Lives on New Year’s Eve, but I eventually came around.  Hey, your average New Year’s evening of dinner and dancing costs at least 50–and they don’t have Kyuss.  It turned out to be a good call, especially since this was effectively the outfit’s last gig before the lawsuits started rolling in.  (More on that below–if you’re on the homepage, that is.)  Vista Chino might end up playing venues the size of Cherry Cola’s, but it just won’t be the saaaame, maaaan!

CHOICE WORDS: It’s one thing seeing ‘em on a massive stage, and quite another being in a tiny bar, where the bouncer knocked over half the drumkit while forcibly removing a patron from the premises.  Unfortunately, I did not have my camera out when that happened… — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: Kyuss Lives @ Cherry Cola’s, January 1st, 2012

AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: MELVINS, Retox @ Opera House, July 5, 2012

When the Melvins came to Toronto in 2010, it was their first Canadian appearance in about a decade.  The Opera House was packed to the tits, and though we waited up to two hours for the headliners, once they went on no one could walk away without saying they were blown away.  But this time, things were a bit different.  For one thing, this lineup, dubbed Melvins Lite, featured Trevor Dunn on stand-up bass, while their party of two behind the kit was reduced in size.  But hey, at least this time they brought an opening act…

And what an opening act, at that.  Retox, a self-described “sci-fi/surf/punk” band with members of The Locust played several short blasts of noise well under a minute in length–with some pregnant pauses in between that were often longer than the songs themselves.  While not the oddest opening act I’ve ever seen (that title would go to An Albatross supporting Blue Cheer in ’07), they certainly had all the Nirvana fans sulking in the corner, let’s put it that way.

The Melvins offered a mix of reworked old stuff and some newer songs, with their version of Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It” drawing a good crowd response.  There were also quite a few slow, droning instrumentals interspersed throughout the set.  You know how there’s always that one guy who yells stupid shit during all the quieter moments?  I was definitely within earshot of that guy…

Having seen the Melvins last time, I sorta knew what to expect.  They went on right at 10, played for 75 minutes, didn’t really do an encore (although both Buzz ‘n Dale left the stage for a Trevor Dunn bass solo) and left everybody satisfied yet wanting more.  Let’s hope they come back again within the next two years, not 10.

TOP FIVE MELVINS COVER TUNES — 1. “Goin’ Blind”

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”

4. “My Generation”

3. “Interstellar Overdrive”

2. “God of Thunder”

1. “Goin’ Blind”

This is not just my favourite Melvins cover song, but pretty much my favourite Melvins song, period.  On their iconic Houdini album, the band took a pretty pedestrian pop song offa KISS’ Hotter Than Hell–albeit one with some wicked, offbeat lyrics–and added grit, groove and a sense of urgency lacking from the original.  This is one instance where they’ve clearly outdone their idols–in my humble opinion, of course.  And yet, Gene Simmons went with the decidedly more-laid back Dinosaur Jr. version for their 20th anniversary tribute album.  For shame!

TOP FIVE MELVINS COVER TUNES — 2. “God of Thunder”

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”

4. “My Generation”

3. “Interstellar Overdrive”

2. “God of Thunder”

There’s no question that the Melvins dudes are big KISS fans.  (What, did you think the Melvins Army was an original concept?)  They’ve paid tribute to their idols on a few occasions, including Hard to Believe: A Kiss Covers Compilation, an alt-rock tribute album released in ’92 that also featured Nirvana–and a bunch of other bands you probably never heard of.  Here they take arguably the most evil-sounding KISS song and turn the evilness up a notch with a heavier, sludgier riff soup, some effects-laden vocals on the second verse and a pulsating drum solo that comes right outta leftfield.  All that’s missing are the voices of Bob Ezrin’s kids.

TOP FIVE MELVINS COVER TUNES — 3. “Interstellar Overdrive”

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”

4. “My Generation”

3. “Interstellar Overdrive”

Remember when Man’s Ruin used to do those EPs where they’d get a pretty well-known band to throw together some odds ‘n sods, covers and such, and put it out on their label?  I’ve got the Entombed one (Black Juju), but I never managed to get my hands on Electroretard, the Melvins record they released not long before closing up shop in ’01.  Along with a few re-recorded tunes, Electroretard contained a trio of covers in the Wipers’ “Youth of America” (perhaps the first 10-minute punk song), “Missing” from AmRep noise rockers Cows and “Interstellar Overdrive,” a trippy 10-minute Pink Floyd instrumental from the Syd Barrett era.  Though this version isn’t any longer than the original, they take the Floyd’s psychedelic 60′s sounds and apply an eerie, post-millennial touch that sounds something like Hawkwind gliding through a Sergio Leone spaghetti western.  Even trippier than the Floyd, if you ask me!

TOP FIVE MELVINS COVER TUNES — 4. “My Generation”

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”

4. “My Generation”

Several artists have come up with shitty covers of The Who’s original anthem to teenage rebellion, from Hillary Duff changing the classic line to “Hope I don’t die before I get old” to Limp Bizkit…  Oh wait, I guess that wasn’t cover.  Anyways, the Melvins offered a rather distinctive take on the tune on their 2010 album The Bride Screamed Murder.  The slowed-down, stretched-out, seven-minute, 41-second version sounds more like Black Sabbath than The Who, the slow jams kinda reminiscent of “War Pigs,” for instance.  In fact, if one didn’t recognize the lyrics as being penned by Pete Townsend, you’d almost assume it was an original.  Here, check it out:

TOP FIVE MELVINS COVER TUNES — 5. “Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More”

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: