It may have been five years since their last release, but that hasn’t stopped the titans of sardonic alternative, Seattle's Mudhoney, from emerging from the darkness and battering our eardrums with their latest attack, Digital Garbage from their long time label, Sub Pop.
If you know a thing or two about Mudhoney, then you’ll be well versed in frontman/vocalist/guitarist, Mark Arm and his keen sense of cynicism and tongue in cheek lyricism coupled with the band’s brilliant haphazard sound.
The band are, of course, older. Arm is now fifty-six and they are all perhaps wiser, yet their core sound is very much present. Pounding drums, wobbly riffs and Arm’s scratchy, sprawling tones tinged with a heavy dose of digital experimentation and synths that gives Digital Garbage a distinct edge.
Mudhoney have never been a band to shy away from controversial topics and lyrical ability within their music, and these eleven tracks are rife with relevancy in today’s digital world and issues and appropriately, newsworthy issues, specifically the last two years of gun related shootings that has erupted with alarming consistency throughout America.
Please Mr Gunman is a stark reminder of such events with Arm’s insistent yowls of “We’d rather die in church!” it’s a bold line and although I can imagine some may find Arm’s lyrical connotations in this song, and elsewhere on Next Mass Extinction to sting, the reality is, this is the world we live in. It’s ominous and unpredictable at times and to those who do offend easily, well Mudhoney may not be for you, but that’s ok, because they’re not changing any time soon.
The feel of Digital Garbage is as cobbled and predictably strong as I’d imagined with a few surprise twists that leave you feeling satisfied that after a five year break, Mudhoney still manage to deliver something that isn’t shit and still know what it takes to make a good Rock record that can be just as ridiculous and appropriate in 2018.
Mudhoney continue to march to the beat of their own drum and need not prove anything to anyone because they’re in a league of their own and always have been.
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Released: 19 Sep 2018