Kindred spirits: Pearl Jam, Bryan Ferry, Black Sabbath
Show: With Honky on Saturday at the 9:30 Club. Doors open at 8 p.m. 202-265-0930. www.930.com. $20.
The forerunners of Puget Sound grunge, Melvins began making sludgy rock 30 years ago, inspiring the likes of Nirvana and Soundgarden. So it’s hardly surprising that “Everybody Loves Sausages,” a collection of covers by Melvins and a series of guest vocalists, opens with an explosive rendition of “Warhead” by British metallists Venom. The chugging, thudding track is prime Melvins — even if it is sung by Neurosis’s Scott Kelly.
But Melvins mainstays Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover enjoy left turns as much as they do loud noises. So the second number is an unexpectedly bouncy version of Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend,” featuring operetta-style trills and the falsetto of Tweak Bird’s Caleb Benjamin.
It turns out that the hard-edged Melvins have a soft spot for British fop-rock; the album includes rethinks of material by David Bowie, Roxy Music and the Kinks.
Some are handled more gently than others. Bowie’s “Station to Station” (with vocals by J.G. Thirlwell) opens chaotically but eases into something closer to the original; Roxy’s “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” (featuring Jello Biafra and Kevin Rutmanis) takes the opposite route.
There’s nothing unusual about a Melvins album that makes a racket, of course. What really distinguishes “Everybody Loves Sausages” are versatility and good humor.