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Even your mom knows that early Melvins records totally shred. But most folks don’t seem to realize that King Buzz-o & Co.’s more recent output is equally ass-kickin’not bad for a band that’s been around long enough to have shared a bill with the Minutemen. The Melvins formed at a time when punkseven as they sported Scorpions T’s in the name of ironyconsidered “metal” a dirty word, so the band’s fusion of DIY simplicity with straight-for-the-jugular riff-worship was a brave move. When Washington state’s flannel-clad indie scene appeared on mainstream radar in the early ’90s, the Melvins scored a major-label deallargely riding on fan Kurt Cobain’s coattailsthat resulted in three less-than-successful discs and a subsequent trip back to the minors. But, to judge from The Maggotthe Melvins’ first post-Atlantic studio full-length dischargethe demotion was the best thing that could have happened to the band. The Maggot sublimely shifts between evil power-chord sludge and antic speed grind, and is, by far, the most Melvinsesque of the band’s recent studio output. And with the brilliant “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown),” the guys even take a shot at pre-Lindsey Buckingham-and-Stevie Nicks Fleetwood Macor Judas Priest, depending on whether you sport a money clip or a chain wallet. Although the Melvins still sound like the punk offspring of Black Sabbath and Budgie, The Maggot also incorporates years of experimentation into the band’s increasingly detailed and technical thud-rock. Call it a comeback. The Melvins play with Folk Implosion at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22, at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $13. (202) 667-7960. (Brent Burton)