The Melvins is an American sludge metal band that usually perform as a power trio. Singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne (aka "King Buzzo") and drummer Dale Crover are constant members, but the band has seen several bass guitarists. They have occasionally added a guest or second guitarist for live performances. The band was named after a grocery clerk at a Thriftway in Montesano, Washington where Osborne also worked as a clerk. "Melvin" was greatly despised by other employees, and the band's members felt it to be an appropriately ridiculous name.
Originally formed as a hardcore punk band, Melvins' music is influenced by Black Flag's My War era punk rock, slow rock acts like Swans, and, most notably Black Sabbath-style metal; however, their idiosyncratic approach, bizarre sense of humor, and experimentation make neat categorization difficult. Osborne has also stated that his guitar playing is more influenced by Black Flag than Black Sabbath. They often favor very slow tempos, and their sludgy sound was a strong influence on grunge music, especially Nirvana, Soundgarden, and many other bands from Seattle. Their protegés, however, tended to use more conventional musical structures with this sound. Melvins have also influenced many bands, including Tool, who are personal friends with the band; Crowbar, Mastodon and Eyehategod, who participated in a Melvins tribute album, and Boris, who took their name from the title of a Melvins song.
The group has received mostly positive critical notice. Dale Crover's drumming has been especially praised; writer Patrick Kennedy describes his work as "astonishing, powerful, and daring."