Since We’ve Become Translucent

Sub Pop

Man, this is just a really great album from the amazing Mudhoney, the grunge pioneers that got away and, probably for that very reason, are still with us today. Although for a while it looked as if they’d gone AWOL along with all those other early-’90s grungsters — it’s been four years since their last studio album, and that is just way too long, and please don’t do that to us again, will you?

Obviously, Mudhoney don’t deserve the limiting “grunge” label hung on to them. This is genre-defying, reckless and eccentric rock music, transcending the borders between garage and art, and between punk and metal. Opening with the eight-minutes long, surreal jam of “Baby, Can You Dig the Light,” Mudhoney aren’t taking the easy ways out this time either, and it is a refreshing and expansive track, overpowering and astounding. It is a beautiful and brave kick-off moment, immediately and effectively silencing any potential protest against music made by “grandfathers of grunge” or any other random silly phrases.

“The Straight Life” and “Where the Flavor Is” follow, both of them big-band garage rock, truly invigorating tracks, underlining the ever-present apocalyptic and madly raving quality of Mudhoney’s music. Running throughout is a sense of despair and urgency, of plain necessity. But this album doesn’t rush things, every song is giving space and time to breathe and develop — check the insane, incessant “Sonic Infusion” or the harsh stoner rock of “Dyin’ For It” for convincing evidence.

The music surges and searches, leaning forward while always holding back, considering and all the while lashing out. This is an introvert but intensely outreaching album, one that scares you to pieces at the same time as you’re stupidly grinning, dancing along with it. A new and outstanding masterpiece from the brilliant Mudhoney, an album that will only grow on you as you grow with it. Refreshing and profound.

Sub Pop Records:

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