Since being founded by former Alternative Tentacles label manager Greg Werckman and avant-rock maverick Mike Patton in 1999, Ipecac Records has established itself as one of the most eclectic and fearless imprints in the business. In addition to serving as the launching pad for some of Patton's many varied endeavors, the local indie provides a nurturing home for a wide array of artists exploring the outer fringes of hip hop, metal, electronic music, and experimental noise. This week, Ipecac's fourth annual New Year's Eve Binge and Purge Fest serves as both a band showcase and a celebration of the label's almost perverse diversity.
Headliners the Melvins could be considered Ipecac's flagship band. Guitarist Buzz Osborne, drummer Dale Crover, and a heavy rotation of bassists (the latest being ex-Cows four-stringer Kevin Rutmanis) have churned out a prodigious body of work over the course of nearly two decades, for Ipecac as well as for other labels. Recently, the group expanded its signature palette of monolithic mudslide riffs and alternately plodding/neck-snapping time signatures to include electro-acoustic experimentation, as witnessed on 2001's Colossus of Destiny.
For this show, the Melvins will be joined onstage by local punk icon Jello Biafra. Rumor has it that the supergroup will play new material from an upcoming collaborative project, as well as a few choice Dead Kennedys classics that should put the recent, mutinous DK tour with Brandon Cruz in perspective. The rest of the night looks to be equally pulverizing: Mondo Generator gives Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri a much-needed outlet for his rabid punk tendencies; New Jersey—based hardcore outfit Dillinger Escape Plan backs Patton for songs from this year's Epitaph EP, Irony Is a Dead Scene; Pink Anvil brings new industrial sounds from Ministry mainstay Paul Barker; and dissonant hip hop duo Dälek drops gritty beats from another planet. Ipecac's forward-thinking lineup offers a cacophonous New Year's Eve alternative for those looking to avoid the Bay Area's hippie-groove vibe.