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Mudhoney | Since We've Become Translucent (Sub Pop)
The signs certainly weren't too promising for the underachieving forefathers of grunge. After being dropped from the Reprise roster due to the failure of 1998's 'Tomorrow Hit Today' LP, the departure of long-term bassist Matt Lukin and the largely unnoticed release of the 'March To Fuzz' best-of; an unspectacular end for one of Sub Pop's original success stories seemed to be looming. Quite unexpectedly though, make way for the rowdy re-entrance of Mudhoney, returning via their original label with new recruit Guy Maddison in-tow ?? and surprisingly, it's quite an awesome statement of intent. Previously considered something of a one-trick-pony, Seattle's stoner-pioneers don't aim to dispel that myth here on their eighth long-player. Instead they just spray warm beers all around the room, set their guitars to blister and summon you to ride with them on their garage-rock rollercoaster. Once again. Their finest release in absolutely ages though; 'Since We've Become Translucent' is a minor sensation of swampy, psychedelic blues-riffs from start to finish. Fuelled by a love of loud distortion, the Stooges and Black Sabbath plus a new sweat-soaked obsession with a sleazy horn section, this is a re-evaluation of the Mudhoney formula by simply getting down deeper, dirtier and funkier - it's 'Exile On Main Street'-era Stones as covered by James Brown's band. Vocalist Mark Arm also sounds rejuvenated, snarling and sneering that "I'm a winner because I've got nothing left to lose" in the sheer face of a rolling rhythm-section that looks to overpower all in its path. A tribute to commitment, passion and hedonism, Mudhoney here are a band revived by injections of dangerous drugs while near comatose. Disconnect your brain - amazingly but absolutely, 'Since We've Become Translucent' is a fantastic, heads-down, all-out rock 'n' roll blast.

Ian Fletcher
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002