Man… What is there that can be said about Mudhoney that hasn’t been said one hundred thousand times? The band has been around forever and has, for the most part, stayed true to their sound. They’ve watched as fads have swirl around them and passed off into the ether, friends and peers blow up and burn out and they’ve probably played everywhere there is to play. They were around before grunge was a thing, before MP3s killed the album, before a big muff pedal was standard issue and yet, in spite of the many grains of sand that has fallen through the hourglass and all the water that has passed under the bridge, Mudhoney still sounds relevant as they did when Mark Arm and Steve Turner split from Green River and begged the flannel clad masses of Seattle touch ‘em cause they were, and probably still are, sick. What I’m trying to say is that Vanishing Point doesn’t sound like a band that has past their prime. In fact, the new album is as any hip new jam that the kids are kickin’ out today.
Although Vanishing Point doesn’t see the band making any huge sonic deviations, you can tell their perspective has shifted from that of the rebel rousing twenty-somethings to the elder statesmen of fucking shit up. That perspective seems to be front and centre here. From the opener “Slipping Away” to the album closer “Douchbags on Parade,” the thematic thrust of the album is that of old master passing on wisdom to the kids freaking out about a changing world. If the music accompanying this message felt stale, Mudhoney would come of as a bunch of old fuddy duddys lecturing the young punks. Thanks to energetic performances and the ability to write rockin’ riff and eathquakin’ rhythms, Vanishing Point comes off as the musical equivalent of the the roman ruins that adorn it’s cover, weathered by age but still hard as fuck. (Sub Pop, subpop.com) Dave Skene