Mudhoney: Vanishing Point

Mudhoney Vanishing PointMudhoney
Vanishing Point
(Sub Pop)

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In writing this review I’m faced with an interesting conundrum. All of Vanishing Point‘s weaknesses are also its strengths. This comes down entirely to Mudhoney’s refusal to change. Essentially, this is a good thing. The last thing anybody wants is for Mudhoney to go “experimental” or try to put out something that sounds “contemporary.” Their devout belief in the absolute perfection of fuzz is one of their most endearing qualities. The fact that they can apply the same formula they used in the late 80’s and still come out with a perfectly adequate album is definitely impressive. But I can’t help but think, if they can make an adequate album, why can’t they make a great one? I want Mudhoney to push themselves. They used to put out songs here and there that were a little grander in scope – stuff like “When Tomorrow Hits” and “If I Think.” They can get introspective without losing their edge. There’s nothing like that here. A few songs like these would give the album more overall presence. Lyrically, Vanishing Point is fairly goofy, which is nothing new for Mudhoney. To put it in their terms though, it seems like they sometimes get too into their shtick. “I Like It Small” is a cool song, but it gets tiresome when Mark Arm starts listing different types of small things. Maybe I should just be counting my blessings. It’s 2013 and I have a few new ass-kicking songs by Mudhoney to rock out to. Maybe I should shut my mouth. Maybe it’s too much asking Mudhoney to turn out another classic album. Maybe that’s never what they were about in the first place.

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