25 years later, Mudhoney still rocks with their latest, Vanishing Point

Mudhoney is the gold standard for the Seattle music scene and they show no signs of slowing down. Photo: Mudhoney from Seattle/Photo: Emily Reiman

LOS ANGELES, December 6, 2013 — The Seattle music scene received a lot of warranted attention in the late 80s and early 90s. This bustling music scene produced some of music’s biggest bands, including Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains. One band from Seattle that received very little attention, relatively speaking, during the boom of the early 90s was Mudhoney.


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Mudhoney formed out of the ashes of the seminal Seattle band, Green River, which set forth a sound that would lead the way for the scene the media labeled as grunge. Formed in 1983, Green River originally consisted of Mudhoney’s Mark Arm and Steve Turner, as well as Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard of later Pearl Jam fame, and Alex Vincent. Steve Turner left the band after Green River’s first record, Come On Down, and was replaced by Bruce Fairweather.

Four years after its inception, Green River was over, but the musicians were not. Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Bruce Fairweather went on to form Mother Love Bone. Mark Arm teamed back up with Steve Turner to form Mudhoney.

Mudhoney continued the punk-based sound of Green River, while Mother Love Bone went in a more straight rock n roll direction. MLB ultimately ended after the tragic death of singer Andrew Wood, with Gossard and Ament going on to form Pearl Jam.


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To help form Mudhoney, Arm and Turner brought in Matt Lukin, formerly with The Melvins, on bass and Dan Peters on drums. Mudhoney’s debut E.P., Superfuzz Bigmuff, was released on Sub Pop Records in 1988.

While not small enough to be considered obscure, Mudhoney always seemed to fly under the radar. They did get a major record deal with Reprise after the release of Piece of Cake, their second album on Sub Pop. They released two more records with Reprise before being dropped and returning to Sub Pop.

Many Seattle bands fell by the wayside for various reasons as the media monster withdrew its tentacles and moved on to the newest flavor of the month, but not Mudhoney. They just kept doing what they always did, write great music for the sole purpose of writing great music, regardless of how many people cared or were listening.

In April of 2013, Mudhoney released their ninth studio album, Vanishing Point, on Sub Pop Records. The new record carries Mudhoney’s signature distorted guitar sound and Mark Arm’s one of a kind voice.


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Some bands release new material that sometimes takes a few listens to understand and sink in. With Vanishing Point, on first listen, your head is already bopping, toe is tapping and you just say, “Yes! Mudhoney!” Then you can close your eyes and remember the pre cell phoned world and it is like nothing ever changed.

Even though Vanishing Point has that signature sound that Mudhoney has always had, it is a breath of fresh air when compared with much of the new music released these days.

This record is clearly not written to sell a bunch of singles to flash in the pan fans. Nor is it intended to be eaten up by the corporate music labels. It is more of an ode to the way things should be and a reassurance that rock n roll will never die.

Kevin J. Wells is the Sports Editor for The Washington Times Communities and also writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Kevin Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR.

 

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