Fan Poll: Top 5 Melvins Songs | Revolver

Fan Poll: Top 5 Melvins Songs

Not just the hits from 'Houdini' and 'Stoner Witch'
melvins buzz osborne GETTY profile, Frank Hoensch/Getty Images
photograph by Frank Hoensch/Getty Images

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Being a true Melvins fan takes work. The sludge-rock mischief-makers, helmed by vocalist-guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover, have a gigantic, ever-growing discography that's about as overwhelming to stare down as a Cheesecake Factory menu. However, the most imposing thing about their 20-plus-album catalog is that the Melvins are far from a checked-out legacy act riding off the hits from 30 years ago.

To the contrary, they're still making new, challenging and rewarding music to this day, including their February 2021 LP, Working With God — which makes choosing a favorite song from throughout their whole playbook a dizzying task. That said, we asked you all to make the call and the results were as diverse as we expected. Below, are the top five vote-getters, ranked accordingly.

5. "Boris"

Before their 1991 LP, Bullhead, the Melvins were playing sludge — a genre that's characterized by slow, numbing and gradually-building songwriting structures — in the casings of quick, two-minute punk structures. Bullhead's intro cut, "Boris," took the opposite approach by drawing out a Sabbathian chug for over eight-and-a-half minutes straight — and it resonated. So much so that the now-beloved Japanese experimentalists took their name from this tune.

4. "A History of Bad Men"

The vast majority of bands never make it to 15 albums (let alone five), and it's even rarer when a band who does make it that far creates something that's viewed as a genuine classic. Melvins' 2006 LP, (A) Senile Animal, is one of those albums, and it includes an undeniable stoner-metal gem called "A History of Bad Men" that boasts a fat bass line that eventually gets splattered with screechy feedback, a nasty guitar solo and Osborne's nasally croak operating at full volume. 

3. "Hooch"

One of the weirdest moments in Nineties rock history is when the Melvins were briefly on Atlantic fucking Records. The major label institution signed them based on their equally unexpected influence on the Seattle grunge explosion, and released a few records with them, including 1993's Houdini, before realizing that a steadfastly contrarian sludge-metal band wasn't going to be the next Nirvana. Nevertheless, Houdini remains the band's most popular release, and its crashing, thumping opener, "Hooch," is an obvious fan favorite.

2. "Revolve"

Melvins' second Atlantic release was 1994's Stoner Witch, and as its title hints at, the record's sound features a pretty even split between rattling grunge energy and heavy, boot-stomping stoner metal. "Revolve" is one of the most beloved tracks in the band's catalog, and it's easy to hear why. Here, they pick up the tempo and Osborne leans into the drawly, hard-rock-influenced vocal delivery that became iconic of that era of Pacific Northwest rock music. 

1. "Honey Bucket"

Although many music fans and historians consider the Melvins more of a grunge or noise-rock act than a metal band, there's a reason why Lamb of God and the Dillinger Escape Plan both recorded covers of "Honey Bucket." The Houdini highlight is an unquestionable metal banger with a throttling pace and a big-ass, savory groove-metal riff that sounds like it's walloping out of the mix. More than anything else, it's just fun as hell to headbang along to.