The Mystery of Big Train – AKA Those Melvins

While not one of the great mysteries of life, I’ve had a 90’s Album that off and on over the years, I’ve wondered about the band that recorded it. You see, despite having their album Land of Steady Habits, I had never heard of Big Train.

I’m not sure exactly what year but probably either 1996 or 1997, I was on campus at Auburn and there was a table covered in CDs. I think this was the ground floor of Haley Center. And I believe the CDs were from the college radio station – apparently clearing out the various CD promos and such they had gotten in the past year or two.

At any rate, I remember spotting this particular CD and the price was right and the cover suggested it might be interesting.

And in my humble opinion, I scored. I enjoyed the whole CD. And it joined the rest of my collection from that era of my life. And it rated well enough when I finally made the move to mostly MP3 and FLAC, it was ripped to my personal collection. The original album and cover, etc. was carefully filed away in a binder where it still sits.

Off and on over the years I would do an internet search or two but I never turned up anything on Big Train or the various names listed for members of the band. Or at least nothing definitive. And I would wonder what ever became of the band which apparently never struck it big or at least not under that name.

Tonight that changed. I had listened to a song off the album and wondered again. This time, I turned up a bit of information. Apparently they were a Connecticut Power Pop band who originally went by the name Those Melvins. It sounds like they had some small regional success, recorded a little under their original name, and then that one album I have under the name Big Train and that was that. For me, it was just cool to finally see a little more about them. I found a couple of videos on Youtube.

For instance:

And this video of the band performing live in-store at Brass City Records in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Really weird after all these years to have faces to put with a band I’ve listened to off and on for years. Based on the other videos uploaded to that account, I’m guessing that YouTube channel belongs to the drummer for the band, Mat Orefice

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this is how truly backwards this all is. I’ve listened to this mystery album across the years and only now do I know much of anything about the people behind it. And finding this out now has a slightly stalkery feel to it. LOL

There are some bands in my music collection that have had decades of success, but I do feel I have bought more than my share of one hit wonders and bands that had only nominal recognition in their time. I often said when new music was a big part of my life that if I really enjoyed a band’s music, they were destined to anonymity.

One Comment

  1. Someone posted about a band named Republica, with a singer named Saffron. Not having heard of them either, I did a few searches. Her wikipedia page listed influences, and one of them was a Washington State band (it turns out) named The Melvins….which I thought might be….Those Melvins. Maybe they changed their name because of the other band, don’t know. But….my cousin Jeff (RIP) was a lover of all things music, and lived in Norwalk CT…and heard about Those Melvins. Straining my memory, but I believe we saw them in Southport CT, at some upstairs (?) venue. This was long ago. I bought Jeff a t-shirt and we always loved and chuckled about the great name. Oh, Those Melvins we would say. They were awesome to see live, and they had hardcore local fans. Had the place rocking. Sure you could hunt down ‘those’ guys or fans from that area of CT. Anyhoo, thanks for the smile / memory.

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