Buzz “King Buzzo” Osborne, This Machine Kills Artists Out now, Ipecac Recordings, ipecac.com.
In their 31-year career, the Melvins never played it straight. If things ever got too predictable, they would change it up and head down a path different from the one you might expect—one that either left you in the dust or took happily along for the wild ride. Singer/guitarist Buzz “King Buzzo” Osborne’s first solo record sounds exactly what you might expect it to. That’s not a bad thing—in fact, it’s a refreshing surprise. On the acoustic This Machine Kills Artists (a parody of the famous message “This machine kills fascists” scrawled upon Woody Guthrie’s guitar), Buzz showcases his ability to create riff after riff with ease. Keeping things within the realm of his band’s work, Buzzo bypasses the notion of someone notorious for “heavy” music going “folk” or showcasing a sensitive side. Since a majority of the Melvins’ songs were constructed on acoustic guitar, it’s a charming glimpse into the process of developing the megariffs the band is known for—which, as its founder, had always been Buzzo’s role. He’ll perform an acoustic set at Neumos on June 20, sure to include plenty of songs off his solo record and a mix of Melvins songs too.