MUDHONEY: Since We’ve Become Translucent: CD

This is one of my favorite bands. Consistantly, they have put out quality albums since I first heard them in 1988 with Superfuzz Bigmuff. For those of you unaware, Mudhoney has a fuzzy garage rock punk sound with a blues backbone. Mark Arm has one of the best voices in punk as well. This album marks some changes for them. First, they have replaced their bass player, Matt Lukin (who, like the rest of the members, has been with them since they started), with Guy Maddison. I’m not familiar with him, but I think he was in two bands prior to this. Lubricated Goat and Bloodloss. The next thing they did differently was to include horns in some of the songs. Finally, there are four different producers on this album, including Wayne Kramer. The songs were recorded in four different sessions. What does all this mean? Well, I was apprehensive at first. Not because of these reasons, but when I first popped in the CD, the first song is an eight minute plus psychedelic jam session. It started out like a Pink Floyd song. “D’OH!”, was the only thing that came to my mind. “What have they done?” I thought, “What happened to my Mudhoney?” Fortunately, the song manifested itself into a normal blend of music and lyrics, but there was something new in their sound… horns. I settled down at this point and began to take the rest of the album in. I’m glad to say that Mudhoney was still there. The songs get back to normal after the first one. There are some horns on a few of the songs, which I don’t think really compliment their sound much. Organs and harmonicas have done well in the past, but I think they need to give up the horn thing. This isn’t one of the best albums they have put out by far. However, after you get over the shock of the first song’s long intro and can put up with some horns in a couple songs, it’s still Mudhoney. Dan Peters, Steve Turner, and Mark Arm are still churning out the fuzz that I couldn’t get enough of fourteen years ago.

 

 –todd (Subpop)