What’s new: “Digital Garbage,” Mudhoney

by Jon E. Lynch

I think it is safe to say that fans of music – true fans, not the casual listening, “only really put music on in the background” sort of music fan, but the sort that travel to see their favorite bands play live, buy physical releases on new release day, or read locally written music reviews – likely have a running list of highly influential musical moments or concerts that they attended to fondly look back on.

It should come as little surprise that I am that exact, particular sort of music fan. I am rather fortunate to have had numerous experiences with a variety of bands, including a very early memory with Seattle’s Mudhoney. On December 18, 1992, I saw Mudhoney perform in tiny bowling alley bar in support of their third album, “Piece of Cake.” It was, to say the very least, a formative experience to a dweeby pre-teen middle schooler.

These days, 30-some years and 13 some records later, Mudhoney are still making biting, caustic garage punk rock and roll infected with the same wry humor. Vocalist Mark Arm says it better: “My sense of humor is dark, and these are dark times. I suppose it’s only getting darker.” This particular collection of songs are imbued with maybe the most straightforward social, societal, and political commentary, with titles such as “Paranoid Core,” “Kill Yourself Live,” “Hey Neanderfuck,” and “Next Mass Extinction.” Arm is joined on the album by guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison, and drummer Dan Peters. It’s the most poignant, raging release of their vast and storied career. In ferocity, spirit, spit, and snarl, I do believe this to be one of the best records of 2018.

“Digital Garbage” is available Friday, September 28, via Sub Pop as a digital download (your choice of high quality MP3, FLAC, and more), on CD, cassette tape, and eventually, presumably, on vinyl in the standard black colorway. Pre-order the LP version of the album directly from the record label or from Mudhoney’s Bandcamp page to receive the album on Loser Edition sea foam green-colored vinyl, while supplies last.

Recommended for fans of the classic alternative grunge-punk of the ’80s, ’90s, and beyond, and bands such as Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr., Soundgarden, The Melvins, Supersuckers, and Screaming Trees. Before purists and superfans get up in arms or get their underwear in a bunch, I am very much aware that the bands and artists associated with Seattle, the Pacific Northwest, and the groan-worthy genre-identifying moniker of grunge, are all sonically quite different. In short, I am quite purposely painting with a broad brush.

Feel free to email your gripes, comments, and criticisms to the address below. They are, as always, more than welcome.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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