By Colette Custin
The Twins of Evil tour arrived at the Chicago Metro last night, and you couldn’t have fit another person in the room if you had to for one of the biggest indie double-bills of the year: time-honored rockers The Melvins accompanied by Japanese trio Boris.
Show opener and Chicago duo Mr. Phylzzz delivered a savage, crunchy set of guitar-heavy garage rock to kick the night off, with a sound that distilled the best of the mid-2000s Detroit scene into something fresh. Guitarist vocalist Clinton Jacobs and drummer Danny Sein are already a force to be reckoned with, and their new album Fat Chance, released in July on Amphetamine Records, is one of the best of the year if you like, noisy, in-your-face rock with heavy riffs, ala recent Jack White releases.
The Melvins have had quite the year already, neck-deep in a 40th anniversary celebration that’s seen them playing a run of shows with Mr. Bungle as well as hitting Europe for the first time in five years, alongside some vinyl reissues that sold out in record time. Flipping the script a little, Buzz Osbourne, Steven McDonald, and touring drummer Coady Willis delivered a rare treat in the form of 1991’s Bullhead in its entirety, though not in order. The slinky, thundering groove of “History of Bad Men” led into a monster version of “Honey Bucket,” and the raucous crowd responded in kind; it wasn’t hard to see how the Melvins have managed to remain a solid force in the stoner and alt-rock scene for forty years.
Originally named after the opening track on the Melvins’ Bullhead, Japanese trio Boris presented one of the most interesting sets in recent memory with their unique mix of noise rock, incorporating a heavy dose of psychedelia into tunes like “Soft Edge” and “Death Valley” from 2002’s Heavy Rocks, reissued last year and one of three albums released in 2022.
The Melvins – Metro, Chicago, Sept. 8, 2023
History of Bad Men