Mudhoney rocks. Hard.
Probably I should just leave it at that, because really what more do you need to know? I will say this much though--I've seen a lot of great live rock bands, and nothing, nothing in rock music ever brought me as close to a pure ecstatic experience as hearing Mudhoney live. Nirvana didn't do it. Sonic Youth didn't do it. Soul Asylum didn't do it. Bob Dylan didn't do it. The Grateful Dead certainly didn't do it. But Mudhoney did. Mudhoney brought me to a place that I can only describe as somewhere outside of myself.
For me, Mudhoney live was something like a religious experience. But not the kind of religious experience I was familiar with from the Episcopal Church in which I was raised. No, it was more like what I imagine people go through in the kind of church where they handle snakes and speak in tongues. It was a totally primal experience, which is exactly why I find it so difficult to write about it. It's not the kind of experience that easily lends itself to critical analysis.
Maybe that's just another way of saying Mudhoney rocks hard, but I don't think so. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I am not the kind of person who loses control of himself easily. At shows I was much more likely to be the guy with his hands in his pockets nodding slowly than the one trying to get a mosh pit going. I liked to keep my cool.
But the noise Mudhoney made live was just too awesome--and I mean that in the true sense of the word--to be denied. I can remember New Year's Eve, 1991 at Maxwell's in Hoboken trying to stage dive while Mudhoney was playing. Unfortunately, somebody grabbed the back of my jeans and prevented me from leaping off the stage. I'm not sure why they bothered. The stage at Maxwell's was all of 4 feet high. How much damage could I have done? But that's not the point. I simply wasn't a stage diving kind of guy. I think that was the only time I even tried to do it. Mudhoney's music just took control of me and I had to obey. I wasn't under my own command.
Anyhow, Mudhoney have a new album, Lucky Ones, out today. It's been getting some good reviews. I'm looking forward to hearing it. I imagine I'll opt for the vinyl with free MP3 download. They also released a 20th anniversary deluxe edition of their first EP, Superfuzz Bigmuff, along with some early singles and live stuff. This makes me feel old.
As for these tracks, they come from a 7" that was released in 1990 in advance of Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. "Thorn" appeared in a different version on that album, but "You're Gone" did not. Somehow it got left off of their best of/rarities set, March To The Fuzz, as well. That's a real oversight, because the song absolutely shreds. Enjoy with caution.
Free tracks from Sub-Pop:
I'm Now [right click to download]
(from The Lucky Ones)
In 'n' Out Of Grace (live) [right click to download]