Mudhoney - Vanishing Point

Few bands have the acclaim that Mudhoney have. Formed more than two decades ago by Mark Arm and Steve Turner, they almost single-handedly defined the grunge genre, and to this day continue to tweak their sound, keeping their songs vaguely familiar but never stagnating. Perfecting their formula for hard-hitting riffs and angst-ridden lyrics, but never redefining themselves entirely, Mudhoney are clearly advocates of “if it ain't broke... don't fix it”, which is by no means a bad thing.

On their ninth studio album, Vanishing Point, Mudhoney retain the influence of the hardcore and metal bands of the past and yet keep their bitter punk edge. Mudhoney's sound has evolved slightly: their young, untamed ‘stoner’ riffs have developed into something more refined, but still keep the style that we've come to expect from the seminal grunge band. Mudhoney have never strolled too far from their original recipe, first found on their 1988 debut EP Superfuzz Bigmuff and debut album Mudhoney; now, however, they bring a richer complexity to their songs and a slightly more polished style.

Sticking to their trademark fast cutting riffs on songs like I Like It Small and Chardonnay, Mark Arm's Iggy-esque persona filters through the music, reminding us just what Mudhoney have always been about: noise and chaos. The rest of the album follows in a similar vein; with sleazy riffs thrown in all corners of the album, Mudhoney manage to stick to the time-tested formula they adopted in their early days.

Steve Turner's signature solos are plastered all over the album too, particularly on tracks like The Final Course and Douchebags On Parade, proving his status as a grunge guitar hero. Sloppy yet seemingly perfectly-adept licks laid within the song's power chords cut into the beautiful chaos that Mudhoney create within Vanishing Point.

Mudhoney have a skill for catapulting all the energy and chaos of their live show onto an album, where other bands would fail to keep the edge brought about by their live performances. Mudhoney have always managed to pour this emotion and angst into each of their spawning albums and EPs, continuing this trend on Vanishing Point.

Mudhoney manage to retain their youthful elements yet also seem mature on Vanishing Point, which is a testament to a band who defined and continue to define their musical style. Where other bands have come and gone within their genre, Mudhoney have stuck and continue to be a staple; Vanishing Point is a fine example of this endurance.

Vanishing Point by Mudhoney is out on April 2nd via Sub-Pop.


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