Thursday, October 24, 2019

Legendary bands the Melvins and Redd Kross show off overlapping, high-power bloodlines at the Social

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 10:23 AM

click to enlarge The Melvins at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • The Melvins at the Social
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Melvins, Redd Kross and Toshi Kasai, The Social, Oct. 21

A prime bill of music legends is always a momentous happening, but this one was uniquely involved. Like a living carousel of American rock history, this concert featured bands that have common lineage not just as fellow underground lifers but as royalty whose bloodlines actually overlap.
click to enlarge The Melvins at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • The Melvins at the Social
This tour takes full advantage of the beautifully incestuous relationship between the Melvins and Redd Kross, one that’s now resulted in an entire rhythm section shared. Since 2015, Redd Kross bassist Steven McDonald has been an official, card-carrying member of the Melvins. And Melvins drummer Dale Crover is now a full-time Redd Kross inductee who just made his recorded debut on their new album Beyond the Door. Sure, the two bands might seem somewhat strange bedfellows were it not for their intertwined history, but it made for a night of some motley brilliance.
click to enlarge The Melvins at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • The Melvins at the Social
Progenitors of both sludge metal and grunge yet experimental far beyond either genre, the Melvins have in their long career managed the feat of being constant shapeshifters while keeping their essence resolutely intact.
click to enlarge The Melvins at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • The Melvins at the Social
click to enlarge The Melvins at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • The Melvins at the Social
Not sure if the incandescence of Steven McDonald is having an osmotic effect on them or not, but this was a notably upbeat set from the notoriously noxious band. Still, they were 100 percent Melvins – true, uncompromising and blistering even after over three decades.
click to enlarge Redd Kross at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • Redd Kross at the Social
L.A. underground icons Redd Kross, who go back even earlier than the Melvins, are on a new recording stretch this decade. Currently, they’re riding high with the mighty Dale Crover in their ranks and on the wind of the aforementioned Beyond the Door, their first album in seven years, released over the summer on Merge Records.
click to enlarge Redd Kross at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • Redd Kross at the Social
Glam, punk, power pop – it’s all in there. But on stage, they’re pure rock & roll. Almost four decades on, a Redd Kross performance remains an exuberant display of true belief and eternal triumph. It’s a timeless splash into a golden oasis that gives, affirms and, in their clear case, prolongs life itself.
click to enlarge Redd Kross at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • Redd Kross at the Social
click to enlarge Redd Kross at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • Redd Kross at the Social
The Redd Kross sound has always been about calibration and perfection, not upending experimentation. But the power of Crover as the rhythmic chassis of the band is undeniable and an especially exhilarating gear-up for the band.
click to enlarge Redd Kross at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • Redd Kross at the Social
click to enlarge Redd Kross at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • Redd Kross at the Social
Opening the night was Toshi Kasai, an L.A. figure who’s also tangled up in this distinguished scene web as someone behind the mixing board for the Melvins. In addition to sterling production credits for an absolutely sick roster of heavy bands like Helmet, Red Sparowes, Indian Handcrafts, Tweak Bird, Federation X and Marriages, Kasai boasts the very rare distinction of being a one-time member of the fucking invincible Big Business during their exploratory and expansive phase of being more than a duo.
click to enlarge Toshi Kasai at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • Toshi Kasai at the Social
On his own, he gave an abstract solo electronic set. Across 20 uninterrupted minutes, it was more a near-drone exercise in sonic frequencies than a traditional composed musical performance.

But seeing all these crisscrossing scene forces on one stage was like a peek inside the coolest rock clubhouse.
click to enlarge The Melvins at the Social - JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Jim Leatherman
  • The Melvins at the Social

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

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