It's not so much that longevity gets a bad rap these days as much as it is people seem to have forgotten what it means, much like social drinking and casual sex. It still happens, sure, but it's pushed to the background and kept hush-hush. In entertainment it's even worse. If you want to have any hint of a media life these days, you have to endure the tired roller coaster of an E! True Hollywood melodrama. Rise, fall, rehab, rise again and appear on Oprah with a memoir.
Seattle rockers Mudhoney aren't having any of that. The band that was as synonymous with that late 1980s Seattle scene--and especially with Sub Pop's singles club--has been plugging away for almost 15 years. Those days caused such an uproar so many years ago, but the changing times have left that period feeling less like a powder keg and more like an incendiary spark. But Mudhoney always delivered more than a brief flame. Forget the "g" word. Today the Mudhoney recipe sounds more like a perfect blend of '60s garage, '70s acid rock and '80s. It's the sort of superfuzzed static that's as timeless and American as Thoreau's civil disobedience. Whether it be the guttural roar of "Touch Me I'm Sick," the enjoyable lament of "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More," the agile anger of "In and Out of Grace"--and with "Revolution," the only Spaceman 3 cover that's worth a damn--guitarist-vocalist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner and drummer Dan Peters never tried to be en vogue.
OK, so bassist and perennial goofball Matt Lukin left the band shortly after it was dropped from Reprise in 1999 (his departure had nothing to do with that), but his spot's been filled by former Lubricated Goat thumper Guy Maddison, who's more than capable to provide the low-end tumult. Arm's still got a rip cord of a voice that age has only blessed with more grit and tension. The guys are on the road because they have the time and want to do it, and they plan on having a new album in the can in the next six to nine months.
Fellow survivor Tim Kerr also makes an appearance with one of his many musical outlets this night, as well, with The Now Time Delegation, yet another solid offering of Kerr's charisma. With BellRays vocalist Lisa Kekaula and Gospel Swingers Kari Luna, Steve Adkins and Alex Cuervo, the Delegation serves up a heap of soul-and-fire garage punk all over its In the Red debut, Watch for Today. It's the sort of ruckus that makes you want to shake your moneymaker for the sheer love of the sound.