Vanishing Point (Sub Pop)
by Scott Hefflon
Mudhoney have always been barbed, pissy, raw yet melodic, and raging against inclusion in the Seattle Boys Club of the early ’90s. 20 years later, the howl is more sarcastic snipes, the “fuck you” tempered to witty taunts and jabs. But Mudhoney still rock your lame ass. They cherish rock’n’roll (like “I Like it Small“) the same way Jack Black did in School of Rock. It’s almost kinda sad, really. But it’s not the band’s fault that the world likes danceable indie keyboard cheese and high vocals (not to mention pop divas and their drama), and “active rock” like Nickleback and Hinder has replaced gonzo, danger rock like AC/DC and Mötley Crüe.
After a five year absence, Vanishing Point spews forth everything fans have loved about this reliable band. At 50, it comes off as more cantankerous “get off my lawn!” than rebellious “we’re not going to take it!,” but that’s cultural context, not quality of songwriting. And Mudhoney has still got it, as the emotional ebbs’n’flows will attest. Heartfelt lyrics (cynicism and barely-restrained rage count) and time-tested swagger-rock know-how, these fist-pumpers might ring of classic Iggy and T. Rex (meaning “who?” to the younger pukes), but this is meat’n’potatoes to 30 and 40-somethings looking for something to listen to that’s not complete shit.