No matter how much he loathes it, Texan and musical-firebrand Mark Deutrom forever might be inextricably linked with Melvins, the legendary Gods-of-Thunder quartet whose debut he released on Alchemy 30-odd years ago and, more importantly, for whom he played a mean bass during a good chunk of the 1990s.

But the Deutrom story did not end when he left Melvins circa Honky – no further evidence is needed than his current band, Bellringer, which released a new, one-song single a few days ago, in the egg-still-on-ear moments of the new year.

The song, titled “Stumble Bum/Triangular Object,” centers around something very non-Melvins, an almost jazz-pop lurch with off-kilter drums and a hummable, two-part melody. But, as on Bellringers’ Jettison LP, that’s just a point of departure. Deutrom, who wrote and produced the piece, is not interested in conventional time, and he darts from one suite to the next with a seeming disregard for transition. It suits drummer R.L. Hulsman, with their rubbery angularities, well and gives the track a weird dimension that’s inviting – listen to the psych-trance guitars over buzzing bass in one section, get hooked by the bass-drum lurch elsewhere. Deutrom’s got the right prescription.

All of this continues to beg the question, though: how many times do we need to write about Deutrom, Bellringer and the solo efforts – which have a pretty rich biography of their own – before we drop the Melvins footnotes? I, for one, like the context but, with tracks like this, Deutrom continues to craft his own epic narratives.

About the Author

Justin Vellucci

Justin Vellucci is a former staffer at Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines like American Songwriter and PopMatters, alt-weeklies such as Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper, and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish and Linoleum, and the Gannett publication Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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