Photo by Sarah Joann Murphy
As Hannah Levin reported, Mudhoney was like pure electricity when the band played the Sunset last Wednesday. I, too, was at the show, but was away from the office too much to blog about it. Better late than never, though, right?
Anyway...kicking off their set with the brooding, sludgy "Mudride", the band sounded more alive than I ever imagined hearing them. I had previously been told (by those two dudes who founded Sub Pop) that Mudhoney were bar-none the best band around when they emerged in 1988. Pavitt even likened their early shows to seeing the Rolling Stones in their heyday. I always believed them and had seen the band put on several great shows, but it wasn't until Mudhoney launched into the fist-in-the-face intro of "In n' Out of Grace" that I really got it. "Jesus take me to a higher plaaaaaaace!!!!" screamed frontman Mark Arm, sounding as wild and untamed as an animal just released from captivity. Following the song's breakdown, when Arm gripped the mic and howled "Oh God, how I love to haaaaaaaaaate!" I swear the sky cracked wide open.
Arm also went guitar-less for the show, which gave Steve Turner (easily one of Seattle's finest unsung guitar heroes) ample space to fill with both sledgehammer chords and scorching blues-psych fills. Naturally, they played some news songs from their latest The Lucky Ones (released today), and even those felt like classics. Side by side with vintage Mudhoney, songs like "I'm Now" and "Next Time" proved that, over time, they've infused their sound with a heavier dose of crunchy Stooges blues-rock. Though not as thrashy as the older stuff, the new songs are still as in-your-face but with more of a propulsive funkiness to them, making the newer material breathe in ways early Mudhoney did not. As I raved on this blog before, the song "The Lucky Ones" is a fucking monster, but live it blew my mind. All I could do was shake my head in awe.
Mudhoney play Easy Street Records Queen Anne tonight, 7p.m., for FREE!