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Melvins and Red Kross delivered a scorching set

The coupling of cult icons Melvins and Redd Kross paired well for a joint tour of Australia. 

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David Harris

With both bands sharing drummer Dale Crover and bassist Steven McDonald, both acts delivered the gems of their respective careers, both spanning more than three decades each.

Opening the show with their hybrid of punk rock, '70s power-pop and '60s psych rock, LA’s Redd Kross had no shame in delivering every rock 'n' roll cliche they could think of, with sparkly clothes, choreographed dance moves and extended guitar solos in abundance.

Drawing on their more accessible works of Neurotica, Teen Babes From Monsanto and 2012 comeback album Researching the Blues, the soaring vocal harmonies and tight rhythmic backing held everything together in one of rock’s most underrated groups. Sounding as fresh and energised as they’ve ever been, the Beatles-go-punk foundation of the band’s sound resonated with as much relevance as ever, easily fitting into any modern scene of punk rock/power-pop.

With the sold-out crowd of Max Watts rapidly filling up the band room, legendary stoner/noise icons Melvins returned to the Melbourne stage after a four-year absence. With the prolific band having numerous releases to debut in Australia since their last visit, notably the most recent album A Walk With Love and Death, the band drew their set from all eras and incantations of the band.

The addition of Redd Kross’ Steve McDonald to the band on bass and backing vocals added a melodic and energetic balance to frontman Buzz Osbourne’s menacing growl, yet took nothing away from the dark ferocity of ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Hung Bunny’ off early fan favourites Bullhead and Lysol.

Entering their 35th year as a band, the Melvins have long-since proved that they are on a completely different level to any trend or expectation of a successful band in the modern era. Playing by their own rules and performing with a no-holds-barred genuine level of sincerity and focus in their music, the trio continues to be at the top of their game.