Volume 94, Issue 97
Friday, March 23, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Mudhoney album a mess
Here Comes Sickness: The Best Of The BBC Recordings
True North Records
Nirvana had too much Beatles in them; Pearl Jam doesn't have enough punk. Mudhoney utilizes just enough guitar sludge and anti-star posturing to wear the "king of grunge" mantle.
Here Comes Sickness catches Mudhoney at their rawest, but not always their best. "Dissolve" is a slow, oozing guitar track that sounds like it's from a soundcheck, while "Editions of You" is a Roxy Music cover that sounds stale, lacking direction and purpose.
Having said that, the album manages to catch the band at some bright spots. "Suck you dry," conveys sickness and disease with emotion, and "Fuzzgun '91" is a poignant snapshot of a weary band, dealing with the mounting pressures of constant touring. Matt Lukin's relentless thumping bass perfectly offsets the guitar mush and provides a stable backing for the pop aspects of Mudhoney.
The record combines classic Mudhoney album tracks ("Touch Me I'm Sick") with relative obscurities ("What Moves The Heart.") The songs don't mesh with each other, seeming somewhat disjointed and chaotic. At the same time, they give a wide sample from Mudhoney's career.
Despite its faults, Here Comes Sickness is both a fine introduction and a retrospective look at a band that never took itself too seriously.
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