Melvins’ Buzz Osborne rips on three Twin Cities bands

JAY BOLLER | Updated 1/13/2014

Sludge-metaller picked three local faves in his “bands that were good, but blew it” mixtape for A.V. Club.

Melvins' Buzz Osbourne thinks the Replacements, Hüsker Dü and the Cows "blew it."
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Around these parts, people tend to love Hüsker Dü, the Replacements and the Cows.

Melvins' frontman Buzz Osbourne does, too. Sort of. With lots and lots of caveats. Maybe not really at all.

The longtime sludge-metal singer (and noted hater) recently compiled a mixtape of “bands that were good, but blew it" for the A.V. Club. The aforementioned Twin Cities music heroes accounted for three of his 10 selections. Osbourne posits that the Hüskers and the 'Mats got soft, while the Cows blew it by breaking up too soon. His bus-throwing comes off a bit punker-than-thou, and while it certainly won't win over many Minnesota music fans, the piece makes for an entertaining read. It's worth noting that he's not the only cranky rocker to diss the Replacements' back catalog; famous indie curmudgeon Steve Albini also thinks it stinks

Here are the highlights of what Osbourne, 49, told A.V. Club about each band. 

On Hüsker Dü:

I thought Bob Mould and Grant Hart were great singers. 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. Before that, though, they were this dirty looking and sounding band, and I had never seen anything quite like it. They attacked their instruments in a way that I hadn’t seen. We were a three-piece band as well, so that was really inspiring to hear how a three-piece band could sound live. 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.

On the Replacements:

What’s funny is that Dale [Crover, Melvins drummer] and me were talking about this. We have to find bands that we liked that blew it, not just bands that blew it. They have to be really good ones that just took a shit. With The Replacements, I can’t pick one song. What I have to do is pick the album "The Replacements Stink." That whole album is only 20 minutes and to me is a perfect album, especially for punk rock bands, because it was a great marriage between The Dead Boys and something a bit more pop, with edge and aggression. To this day, I can listen to that record and totally love it. I have to pick that whole record, because if you listen to it top to bottom, it makes sense. It has everything. It’s a great little history of rock music. I don’t think those guys got that. That was such a great record. It was so much better than "Let It Be" or "Pleased To Meet Me." Those records are interchangeable garbage. They’re meaningless, and they’re dumb. I don’t know those guys, but I get the feeling that [Paul] Westerberg doesn’t take it seriously.

On the Cows:

The Cows are not unlike Isis in that they broke up when I thought they were better than ever. I had the extreme pleasure of helping produce their last album, "Sorry In Pig Minor," and there’s a song on there called “Death In The Tall Weeds.” Those guys were maturing as songwriters, and that record is all over the place musically. There are all these songs and I didn’t make a lot of suggestions other than, “Do you guys think you could turn this five-minute song into a three-minute song?” That was it. They blew it, because they quit. Like Isis, they quit when they were better than ever. The guitar player quit and I even offered to play with them. I was like, “I can play guitar. Just don’t break up until you figure it out!” But they weren’t having that. So that was that