Live Review and Picture Book: The Melvins with Unsane at The Loft, April 25

Review by Ellen Eldridge; photos by Michael Koenig

Unsane fit so perfectly as an opening act before the legendary and influential Melvins; so perfectly, in fact, that though Unsane drummer Vinnie Signorelli was in the hospital, according to singer Chris Spencer, Melvins drummers took turns sitting in with Unsane. Bassist Pete Shore completes the trio, but the power packed into the band’s set defies watching just three men create it. They opened with Wreck album opener, “Rat” and closed with Wreck album closer, “Ha Ha Ha,” which recalls all things noise in both its ability to fine-tune aggression and beat fans over the head with blunt trauma. Any fans waiting for The Melvins who hadn’t been previously aware of Unsane went home with a new favorite band. The energy grew by the third song in the set, “Against the Grain,” and fist pumped maniacally as the room swelled with more and more bodies edging ever closer to the stage.

After drummers Dale Crover and Coady Willis wiped the sweat from their brows, they took a few minutes to compose themselves before starting again with Buzz leading the dark ship that remains The Melvins. The uniformity struck as weird and fitting; this blend of bass-heavy punk fronted by a man with more hair than head has been known for its idiosyncrasy. Through several line-up changes Buzz Osborne leads the pack, and watching him on stage just solidified my respect for this band. He grooved in such a trancelike state that both dancing and flowing describe his affect. From songs like “Dog Island” through the Wipers cover “Youth of America” and “War on Wisdom” to “National Hamster” off the latest Scion release The Bulls & The Bees EP, they rocked loudly and just abrasively enough to leave a lasting impression. The Loft seemed a small venue for such an influential act, but the fans loved every second.

By Michael Koenig (

Full gallery after the jump.


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