Hey, Buzz Osborne, chill on the 'Mats and Hüsker Dü bashing
|Photo By Ryan Siverson|
After a chat with Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne for City Pages' Amphetamine Reptile cover story back in July, it became quite clear that he was opinionated and acerbic, especially when it came to music (a point proven even further during Buzz's engaging interview with Cyn Collins).
Now, in a recent piece in the AV Club, the always outspoken King Buzzo was asked to discuss "bands that were good, but blew it." In the feature, he excoriates some of the best-known bands in rock history. It's true that the Who, the Rolling Stones, and Metallica all have created some stinkers, but Buzz also gets in some derisive shots at Twin Cities musical luminaries Hüsker Dü and the Replacements that we must protest.
After praising Hüsker Dü's early output while stating that they were "one of the best bands I've ever seen live," Buzz has this to say about their mid-period output and their subsequent jump to a major label:
"Then the records changed to bad versions of R.E.M. when they signed to Warner Bros. I completely forgot about everything they were doing. On New Day Rising I thought they were starting to lose a bit of their edge, and I started to lose interest in them....Then they got signed to Warner Bros. and just took a giant shit as far as I'm concerned. I don't know how else to put it."
The shift from the breakneck, rowdy punk that churned at the heart of Hüsker Dü's early work toward the poppy, melodic material of the later records was certainly a dramatic change in both tone and tempo, but there are still gems to be found on Flip Your Wig and, to a lesser extent, Candy Apple Grey. And the grand artistic statement that is Warehouse: Songs and Stories stands as one last burst of brilliance from a band who were clearly going their separate ways but still had something meaningful to say.
Perhaps someday Buzz will make some sort of connection with the Hüskers' late-period work and grow to be less dismissive of the songs that captured the end of an era as well as the stylistic songwriting transition of Bob Mould.
But Osborne saves his most contemptuous statements for the Replacements. After admiring the brief but brutal potency of The Replacements Stink EP, Osborne then tears into the rest of the band's output in a scathing manner: