Following last year’s incendiary blast of anti-Trump snot, everyone’s favourite garage rock veterans return with another seven songs to soundtrack your ire. Remember when we said 2018’s ‘Digital Garbage’ was pissed off and invigorated? The last twelve months have not seen a reduction on either score: if anything, this is wilder, punkier and even funnier than last time around.
‘Creeps Are Everywhere’ channels the too-dumb-to-funk hardcore of The Dicks and Angry Samoans to expert effect, while Mark Arm yelps desperately about being lost in a sea of… well, creeps, and for those of us left disaffected by these dark times, it comes with a gloriously, unsubtly sense of freewheeling release. Mudhoney know how you feel; they’re as lost as you but they’re damned if they’re not gonna put their anger and confusion into natty nuggets of fuzzed-out garage slop.
‘Ensam I Natt’ (Swedish for ‘alone tonight’) is another garage-inflected stormer, but ‘Vortex Of Lies’ and ‘One Bad Actor’ take a dive into murky swamp-rock to issue their dismissals of unnamed-but-easily-identifiable malevolent forces. As ever you can hear obscure yet vital Aussie kindred spirits such as Feedtime and Lubricated Goat in this prowling, primativist take on the blues – Mudhoney know their influences and peers are easy to spot, but they’re too busy having a good time to care.
The record’s political leanings are best illustrated by the title track and ‘Snake Oil Charmer’ (‘The more he promised / The more we believed’), which should leave absolutely nobody under any illusions as to what the band think of their home country or its illustrious leader.
We also get a splendidly wracked reprise of the previous album’s ‘Kill Yourself Live’, with Arm trolling the influencer generation in ever-more ridiculous fashion; it’s stupid, it’s funny, it’s intelligent and it makes you want to fling yourself into the nearest moshpit with a beer or twelve and bellow along.
At the end of the day, this is what Mudhoney have always been best at – long may it continue.
Words: Will Fitzpatrick
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