You know you’re in a kick-ass band when you celebrate your twenty-fifth anniversary by releasing your ninth album. Mudhoney, one of the best bands to come out of the Seattle grunge scene of the 1990’s (and the most enduring, thank you very much), have given us Vanishing Point. I don’t know if it’s named after the 1970’s car chase movie, but it rocks just as much as that film. The opener, “Slipping Away,” is full of blistering, swelling guitar solos by Steve Turner and Mark Arm that will leave you amazed. “I Like It Small” is one of their great tunes that use fun backing vocals from what sounds like a small crowd.
“Chardonnay,” a completely bonkers song about how much lead singer Mark Arm hates a certain stripper, is one of my favorites. It’s a great example of how these guys rock just as hard as they did twenty years ago (and Dan Peters’ drums on it are wild). “The Final Course” is a gruesome song about murder that also happens to include guitar that shreds harder than a centrifuge juicer. “The Only Son of the Widow of Nain” is another wall-flattening track, with Dan Peters and Guy Maddison (on bass) rolling out thunder that would make Thor jealous.
There’s a lot of humor on the album, as Mudhoney does so well. “I Don’t Remember You” is a song everyone can relate to, and I’m sure the band wants to say it to a lot of people at many after-parties. The closer, “Douchebags on Parade,” is worth it for the title alone. You’ll want to play it while you’re sitting on a bus full of hipsters or bro’s coming back from a pub-crawl.
Mudhoney show no signs of stopping, thank heavens. We need them now more than ever. I doubt many bands you hear on FM radio will release twenty-fifth anniversary albums (especially of all new material). Mudhoney are leaders. Everyone else is still following them – as we should.
~ Nik Havert
Nik Havert is a writer, DJ at WSND 88.9FM University of Notre Dame, harmonica player, martial arts instructor, comic book publisher, crime fighter,music lover, cult movie enthusiast, and modern day Renaissance man. He hopes to shark cage dive sometime in the next few years and enjoys travel and good natural root beer. Visit his web site at http://www.picklepress.net.
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