60. Melvins, 'Bullhead' (1991)
For much of their first decade as a band, Montesano, Washington's Melvins replaced the antipathy and anomie of sludgier punk bands (Flipper, Fang, My War–era Blag Flag) with a Beefheartian push-pull. Their magma-toasted textures – like Black Sabbath convulsing in a warehouse space, usually in three minutes or less – would prove to be a crucial influence on the early works of buddies Nirvana. However, the band's third full-length, Bullhead, is almost like their coming out as a metal band: The songs are longer, the feel more precise, the production not as fried. The hypnotic, bending, sloth-speed three-note riff of "Boris" would obviously inspire the Japanese band of the same name, grindcore gnashers Brutal Truth couldn't resist covering the razor-sharp "Zodiac," and the optimistic churn of "Your Blessened" would point the way to sludge-pop bands like Torche and Baroness. Said leader King Buzzo to Flipside in 1991: "People in Germany said it was a sell out." C.R.W.