Album Review: Mudhoney - Vanishing Point

1 April 2013 | 2:13 pm | Justine Keating

Twenty-five years on and Mudhoney are still full of playful vim and vigour.

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Five years since the release of The Lucky Ones and 25 years since their formation, grunge veterans Mudhoney have come out with their ninth studio album. Age has not wearied them in the slightest; Vanishing Point is laden with all the same feedback-heavy garage-rock sounds that the band have been sporting since their birth. They're not really bringing anything new to the table (although Mark Arm's witty observations of the modern day seem to be increasingly snide) – but that hardly matters when they've refined their brand of fuzz-infused grunge down to a precise art.

There's a kind of attitude about Mudhoney that you could almost call sassy – they've got this nonplussed devil-may-care thing going on. It's something that they immediately put on display, as drummer Dan Peters introduces the opening track, Slipping Away, with a drum-roll that morphs into an impressively groovy drum beat, which is then shortly followed by the addition of the sleazy screech of Steve Turner's guitar. The whole thing just screams attitude, and that attitude is even further amplified when you add Arm's Iggy-esque wailing.

It's quite clear that Vanishing Point is the product of a band that has persevered through the tests of time and seen it all – tracks I Like It Small and Douchebags On Parade carry the kind of black humour that could only come from the well-seasoned – but at no point does 52-year-old Mark Arm show his age. Twenty-five years on and Mudhoney are still full of playful vim and vigour.