Worldwide lovers of the finer things are rejoicing at the news that Mudhoney, yep Mudhoney, is back in vinyl and digital action in 2008 with The Lucky Ones, the band's eighth full album in a mere 20 years of triumphant rocking.
The Lucky Onesredefines stripped-down, "back 2 basics" ramalama, certainly when it comes to Mudhoney's recent past. I mean, it's not like the band's other twenty-first century works (2002's Since We've Become Translucent and 2006's Under a Billion Suns) were proggy, topographic explorations or anything - far from it. Yet this new one is deliberately and aggressively raw. It sounds as lean and as full-on as any modern equivalent one cares to mention. Recorded in a scant 3.5 days (including overdubs) with Tucker Martine (who also recorded four songs on the previous album), Mudhoney went in armed with a batch of new material expecting to spend a fair amount of time getting it right. Bang - and bang again after some mixing - and a new album was birthed in record time, faster than anything else the band's done to date.
Mudhoney has always had a smidgeon of that weird-ass, psychedelic Thirteenth Floor Elevators "eye mind" about them, and that too crops up in weird places onThe Lucky Ones, just when you thought it was safe to cut your hair and start a pit. The grand majority of these numbers were intentionally written "from the rhythm up" instead of from the riff and the lyrics down, if you know what I mean. The effect is to thrust out the bottom-end rumble of drummer Dan Peters and bassist Guy Maddison, and to bring about a cohesive whole not entirely ruled by the almighty riff - although you certainly don't have to look hard to find 'em.
OpeningThe Lucky Ones, the band defiantly looks twenty years of heaviness and critical hosannas in the eye and spits out the anthemic "I'm Now," an existential place where "the past makes no sense, the future looks tense." Finding eager new converts locked firmly in the present who'll agree should not prove difficult.
- Jay Hinman