For those of us who lived through the rise of the internet and digital age, you may also recall the at-one-time premiere format of music and media: the CD-ROM. While this of course has long been a piece of music and entertainment past, at one point many industry insiders saw CD-ROM was the future. And the future that many industry investors and corporations thought would take off was the concept of CD-ROM Magazines, which were more or less early versions of entertainment websites, complete with exclusive music and artists interviews and even early examples of digital advertising.
Throughout the late 1990s there were a number of stellar performances from various acts across these “magazines,” perhaps most notably on front runner Launch. Below is a look back at one of those performances from punk legends The Melvins, performing their 1999 track “Let It All Be,” for Launch CD-ROM Magazine. The song initially appeared on the band’s 11th full-length studio album The Bootlicker (Ipecac Records), which the performance was supporting. The Bootlicker was the second installment of a conceptual album trilogy from the band, following The Maggot (released earlier in 1999) and preceding The Crybaby (2000). Ipecac would go on to release the three records on wax billed as The Trilogy Vinyl in November of 2000, a compilation that remains a fan-favorite today.
The song is vintage Melvins, filled with terse power chords and bass lines, garage-band drums and frontman King Buzzo’s signature howling, sparse lyrics. Long known as a primary influence for rock icon, Nirvana frontman and fellow Washington-native Kurt Cobain, the influence from both the songwriting and Buzzo’s vocals is apparent on “Let It All Be.”
The Melvins originally formed in Montesano, Washington in 1983 and are known as heavy influences of both the grunge movement and sludge metal. Founded as a trio, Buzzo (vocals, guitar) and Dale Crover (drums, percussion) have been the constant members while various musicians have filled the third (and sometimes fourth) position over the years. Steven Shane McDonald (bass guitar, vocals) has rounded out the trio since 2015. The band has released 30 albums since their debut eponymous EP came in 1986.
Photo credit: Marv Watson