Vanishing Point

Written by: BV on 07/01/2014 20:38:09

It’s safe to say that out of the multitudes of bands to emerge from Seattle in the grunge-era, Mudhoney have never really been immensely fashionable despite playing a pivotal role in the whole grunge movement – granted, at a point in the early 90’s Mudhoney was indeed the very definition of fashionable, but unlike genre-contemporaries Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana, Mudhoney have never really achieved the same degree of utter worship. Now, with the release of their 9th full-length studio album, it would seem as though they couldn’t really give two fucks about that kind of worship either.

Indeed, as album opener “Slipping Away” roars through my speakers it is quite evident that there is something about Mudhoney which still happens to set them slightly apart from the rest of their genre associates. As the distinctly fuzzy, yet quite simplistic riffing of Steve Turner leads the way solidly through the track, one should also take quite the notice of vocalist Mark Arm. Whilst still being a highly charismatic vocalist, one can also sense a distinct vibe of utter lethargy from Arm, with which these vocals are being carried – to great success that is, as this portrays one of the feats that signify Mudhoney the most – the sheer indifference towards actually achieving a status of reverence.

It is an, at once, both refreshing yet quite antiquated feel one tends to get from this album as we progress further on into the thrashing of “Chardonnay”, delivered at a break-neck speed which goes to show that although these guys are well up in the years, their energy-levels are still soaring high – as such, the somewhat easily forgettable moments that tend to pop up occasionally on the album are quite easily forgiven as one cannot help but be impressed by the sheer attitude that Mudhoney still deliver in full doses.

As the album comes to a forceful close with the quite humorously titled “Douchebags on Parade”, it becomes rather evident that this is one of the absolute high points of “Vanishing Point”. The playful intro of the track makes for a ‘pleasant’ opening listen before the track evolves into a fully rambunctious monster of a track which has a rather modern ring to it, whilst still managing to sound like classic Mudhoney. The catchy hook of “Douchebags on Parade” is, perhaps, one of the most accessible and listener-friendly moments of the album alongside the track “I Like It Small”, which just goes to show that Mudhoney are still quite uncompromising in their soundscape.

It is, of course, quite natural to question Mudhoney’s relevance in the modern music scene – and some would argue there is none. However to me, the crushing irony and ‘no-fucks-given’ attitude of Mudhoney seems to be just what is needed in this all too serious and ever-competitive music business of the modern-day world. As of 2014, Mudhoney still hold claim to some relevance at least, and it seems it will take quite a while before they are fully ready for retirement. – Whether you like it or not.

Download: I Like It Small, Douchebags on Parade, Slipping Away, What To Do With The Neutral
For the fans of: Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.04.2013
Sub Pop

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