Mudhoney Does It Again
In about as much time as it takes to order and receive a subpar delivery pizza with all the fixings, Mudhoney has reaffirmed that they’ve stayed true to themselves despite a five-year absence. Sure, they’ve regaled audiences with the occasional live performance in the interim, but not since the double decade celebration of 2008 throwback The Lucky Ones has Mudhoney released an album. Unsurprisingly, Vanishing Point acts as a reminder that Mudhoney’s still here for you if ever you need them, just like that aforementioned pizza. It’s tried and true and probably just down the street.
Much can be said for consistency, however. Each brief offering within the ten-song LP brings forth the same juvenile bravado you’d expect from a Mudhoney album, plus or minus a few snarls and cheeky lines. Quintessential listening is the ode to minimalism “I Like It Small.” No need for any fluttery guitars or true introductions here. The track starts with a simple pickup note, launching straight into its eponymous celebration of the little things. Its accompanying video is just as simple: it shows the band in a wood-paneled room showing slide projections of all the small things they do enjoy. The many lyrical highlights (“I’m good with Gladys sans the Pips” and “When I orgy, I cap it at 12″ are particular standouts and bits of life advice) tickle enough humorous fancies to keep you listening without the cringe-worthy elements of, say, “Chardonnay.”
Mudhoney has the potential to mature as a band, though there’s no incentive this late in the game. Nary a beat’s been lost since their ’90s rise, and if it ain’t broke, don’t even think of fixing it. Their garage instrumentation and frontman Mark Arm’s vocals are all still accounted for, most noticeably on the closing track “Douchebags on Parade.” The song is as advertised, dreaming up a faux parade for self-congratulatory douchebags. A maturation almost goes against their credo, and Mudhoney would hate to fall in line with all those douchebags. Listen to Vanishing Point seeking the comforts of cheese, a bit of meat, and just enough substance to appreciate what’s there.