tue 15/10/2019

CD: Mudhoney - Morning in America | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Mudhoney - Morning in America

CD: Mudhoney - Morning in America

A fearsome State of the Nation address by Mark Arm’s grunge veterans

'Morning in America': more than meets the eye

Mudhoney’s new album Morning in America is a strange beast. Made up of outtakes from last year’s Digital Garbage, a cover version and rerecorded versions of limited edition 7” singles, one look at the track listing suggests a second CD that might eventually accompany a reissue somewhere down the line. It also implies a release forced by contractual obligations or a cash-flow problem at their label, Sub Pop. Such an assumption would totally disregard the music, however, which is nothing less than magnificent throughout. For while Digital Garbage took a shot at the corrosive influence of religion, Morning in America takes on President Tiny Hands and a country that really isn’t at ease with itself and doesn’t let up for a moment.

The genesis of Morning in America may have emerged from the leftovers of Mudhoney’s previous album but it is a record with plenty of the zest and boisterousness, saturated in black humour, that we’ve come to expect from Mark Arm’s crew. “Vortex of Lies” gets straight to the point with its swampy blues and sneering contempt, while “Snake Oil Charmer” puts in the boot with scuzzy, reverb-powered guitars, Dan Peters’ driving beat and Arm howling “the more he promises, the more we believe”. The title track has a heavy, Black Sabbath-esque stoner groove, while “Let’s Kill Yourself Live Again” is an almost jaunty take on the stupidity of relying on the validation of complete strangers through social media.

In addition to Mudhoney’s own tunes, Morning in America also has a somewhat unexpected cover version in the scorching punk rock of “Ensam I Natt”, originally by under-appreciated Swedish 80s biker rockers, the Leather Nun. With lyrics translated in English and a seriously speedy groove, it is a fine reminder not only of the greatness of grunge’s original firestarters but also of Jonas Almqvist’s Viking raiding party.

Morning in America takes on President Tiny Hands and a country that really isn’t at ease with itself and doesn’t let up for a moment

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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It’s great that the Arts Desk has a soft spot for Mudhoney!

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