Long tagged as the supreme warlords of sludge, the Melvins have crawled out of that primordial birthplace and undergone a weird yet compelling evolution over the past few years. Perhaps emboldened by signing to Mike Patton's Ipecac Records -- the home of many an experimental rock band -- or simply sick of getting called Neanderthals, the quartet has lately started bringing a more textured, at times even wiry sound to its bottom-heavy, groove-locked noise. Granted, frontman King Buzzo and crew have always had a knack for quirk, but the Melvins' latest album, The Bride Screamed Murder, is an even freer exploration of everything from drum-line marches to off-kilter anthems to a blown-out cover of "My Generation." In concert, the band never fails to stupefy, so be sure to clear your headspace for infiltration.


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