The Melvins just released Tres Cabrones, a 12-song release that finds Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover reuniting with original drummer Mike Dillard, on Nov. 5 via Ipecac Recordings.
"Tres Cabrones is as close as we’re willing to get to the Melvins 1983 line-up," explained Osborne. "The best part is it’s all new songs. I specifically wrote tunes that would be good for these guys to play and it worked out great. We had no interest in rehashing tunes we wrote 30 years ago and chose instead to simply create NEW songs. It worked out perfectly."
"Making the Tres Cabrones record was a real treat indeed. It’s a trip down memory lane complete with debauchery and ultra violence," said Dillard, who left the band in 1984 only to be replaced by Crover.
"After 30 years we release a record with the (almost) original line-up of the band," added Crover. "I’ve always felt that drummer Mike Dillard was one of us. It’s great that he’s still a piece of the puzzle! Plus, I get to see what it’s like being the bass player in the Melvins! Tres Cabrones indeed!"
The Melvins annexed Big Business band members Coady Willis and Jared Warren in 2006 for (A) Senile Animal and the quartet has remained in this incarnation for four additional releases including Everybody Loves Sausages, a covers album released this spring. Not ones to relax, the Melvins introduced Melvins Lite, a version of the band that teams Osborne and Crover with Trevor Dunn (Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle). Melvins Lite released their debut album, Freak Puke, in 2012 and subsequently embarked on a 51 date/51 State (including DC) tour of the United States.
The Melvins are currently in the midst of their 30th Anniversary Tour in their ongoing four-piece iteration (father-to-be Jared Warren is on paternity leave with Butthole Surfers’ bass player Jeff Pinkus filling in).
Redd Kross have always been too good, too perfect, too true, to believe. Mythic. Could this tuneful hardcore punk EP really be the work of a brother band with the 15-year-old on vocals and guitar and the 11-year-old on bass? Did Redd Kross really open for Black Flag? Could Jeff and Steve really have been born and raised in the Beach Boys’ hometown of Hawthorne, California, and did Jeff really see the Beatles live in 1966? Did one of them, dressed in Gene Simmons makeup, really kill a Bruce Springsteen impersonator onstage? Is that really their hair? Could Researching the Blues, their first studio album in 15 years, be not just the hottest thing since Cher went solo but the best start-to-finish Redd Kross record ever?
Somehow, the answer to all the above is improbably, wonderfully, beautifully YES. Long have Redd Kross rocked, and long have critics, devoted fans, Rodney Bingenheimer and fellow musicians from Seattle (Nirvana) to New York (Sonic Youth) to Driftwood, Texas (Butthole Surfers) to Hollywood (everybody) bowed before the Kross and their self-aware pre-spandex Glam bubblegum garage psychedelic Cheap Trick/Kiss/Revolver post-Kim Fowley rock and roll. Degenerate, sweet: tongues in cheek, song-long winks.
Commercial success may never have been theirs (if time and space had been aligned correctly, they’d have been blitzing ballrooms in the early ’70s instead of opening for Stone Temple Pilots in the early ’90s), but Redd Kross have endured and endeared because they’ve always had the best possible attitude: smarts, smiles, and total commitment to live hair-spinning showmanship.