Vanishing Point

[Sub Pop]

As a grunge revival quakes among younger bands, Mudhoney is still rumbling on with the abrasive sound that has served them since Seattle was the center of the alt-rock world. They’ve consistently turned out corrosive guitar records, and their ninth studio effort reflects a keenly focused ferocity. They’ve reined in their trademark overdriven guitars, and yet on these tight, targeted songs, singer Mark Arm’s vocals remain every bit as biting. The album also demonstrates that angst ages well if allowed to develop into all-out bitterness. “In This Rubber Tomb” and “I Don’t Remember You” course with a palpable contempt for hometowns and former acquaintances, while “I Like It Small” is a contrarian anthem honoring music released with limited means and appreciated by limited audiences. Despite sounding less ramshackle, Mudhoney hasn’t taken any steps outside of their comfort zone. But major change might be too much to expect from a band still chugging away after more than two decades. –Amanda Farah


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