Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mudhoney Reappears With 'Vanishing Point'

I love Mark Arm so much that I once tried to grow hair like him.

I don't have hair anymore, but I still love Mudhoney, and by default, I still love Mark Arm.

It is my opinion that Mudhoney are far more influential that you believe them to be and that the band's only downfall is their wonderful single-mindedness, in much the same way that a band like The Ramones or AC/DC are fairly linear in their own creativity.

With that being said, I suppose the band's narrow focus is the reason why their only approaching album number nine in a quarter-century long career that had them practically inventing a new sub-genre (along with Melvins) only to watch a bunch of upstarts take over the sound and parlay it into financial security while these originators stood on the sidelines with thin wallets and better records.

Hopefully, some of that unfair neglect will turn around with a new album and documentary, both of which the press department of Sub Pop records (where Arm is apparently employed in the warehouse) have detailed in their promotional email that follows.

Mudhoney is gearing up to release their 9th album, Vanishing Point, on April 2, 2013 through Sub Pop. Mark Arm spoke with SPIN  earlier this week about the recording of the album, and shared touring plans and what fans can expect from the album (see SPIN.com interview December 11).

In related news, the long-awaited, much-anticipated, and really very good documentary film I'm Now: The Story of Mudhoney is now available on DVD. The film, directed by Ryan Short and Adam Pease, follows the band's nearly-25-year career, from their early beginnings in the Pacific Northwest through the band’s most recent world tour. I’m Now includes testimonials from friends, music industry veterans, and musicians such as Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman, as well as many, if not all, of the members of Mudhoney. Í’m Now is available on DVD and as a streaming rental at mudhoneymovie.com. It’s also available on Sub Pop’s site here.

In further evidence that Mudhoney is assuredly, right about now-ish, finally reaching their “tipping point,” !K7 Records recently released Mudhoney: Live In Berlin, 1988 on DVD. The footage, filmed by a professional camera crew at 1988’s Berlin Independent Days festival and only recently rediscovered, captures Mudhoney’s first-ever performance on foreign soil. Playing as representatives of Sub Pop to a crowd of curious punters, critics and members of Europe’s independent music community, the show was also the first grunge gig in Europe, laying essential groundwork for the genre’s subsequent global domination. You can find more information on the documentary here.

25 years in, Vanishing Point decisively affirms that, even in an age where only the newest of the new can survive (and even then, only for a few weeks at best), Mudhoney still have plenty to say and more to offer. These are songs written from the rare vantage point of a band who went through the rock n’ roll meat-grinder and not only lived to tell such a tale, they came out full of the wisdom and dark humor such a journey provides. Vanishing Point is filled with dread, psychoanalysis and Nuggets-on-fire riffs; the sort of real, uninhibited rock music that is harder and harder to locate these days. With Vanishing Point, Mudhoney makes it easy.

No comments: