Essential New Music: Mike And The Melvins’ “Three Men And A Baby”

MikeAndTheMelvins

In the annals of lost rock albums, none could be as unassumingly murky as Mike And The Melvins’ 1999 sessions. During godheadSilo’s late-’90s hiatus, bassist/vocalist Mike Kunka toured with the Melvins and the quartet went on to record an album together. Events lost in the mist of time transpired and the recording was shelved; it’s entirely possible that only Kunka, the Melvins and a select few at Sub Pop were even aware of its existence.

Last year, Kunka, Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Kevin Rutmanis unearthed the tapes and completed the album, now dubbed Three Men And A Baby. The reanimated sludgefest is no mere quaint time capsule; music this brutally elemental is as eternal as the stars and as fresh as the debuts of Black Sabbath and the Beastie Boys, which M&TM seem to be channeling on “Chicken ‘N’ Dump” and “Read The Label (It’s Chill),” respectively and elsewhere. Three Men’s contemporary edge could’ve been sharpened by the band’s recent revisitation of the material, but it hardly matters. With Kunka and the Melvins, the truth in their advertising is the only necessary endorsement.

—Brian Baker