Mudhoney, Vanishing Point

David Raposa

By David Raposa

on 04.02.13 in Reviews
There’s no rose-colored nostalgia trip happening here

The members of Mudhoney might be closing in on (or eclipsing) the half-century mark, but being eligible for AARP membership hasn’t done much to make them soft. If anything, the so-over-it cynicism and exhaustion that’s been the group’s m.o. all these years is a much better look on them as distinguished gentlemen. Granted, it’s hard to imagine a younger Mark Arm taking the time to write a song about white wine. But the 96-second scorched-earth screed that is “Chardonnay” shows that no subject is safe from Mudhoney’s indomitable anger and ennui. Elsewhere on Vanishing Point, Mudhoney’s ninth album, the group plays more to type, making with the knowing one-liners and boundless lack of tolerance — please note the rewrite of “Purple Haze”‘s most famous lyric as, “Excuse me while I fill this shopping cart,” (on “I Don’t Remember You”) and the song self-evidently titled “Douchebags on Parade.” Regardless of what’s being sung, it’s set to the kind of propulsive sludgy punk-powered music that sounds as good now as it did when back when grunge was the Next Big Thing. There’s no rose-colored nostalgia trip happening here, though: As Mudhoney enters their 25th year, still wrestling with whatever crawled up their backside and died way back then, they’re arguably at the height of their powers.