Discounting the meteoric rise of NIRVANA when they put out "Nevermind" in 1991 (on Geffen), arguably no other band has done as much for the grunge scene or for Sub Pop as MUDHONEY have. Signing to them for the release of their classic debut EP, "Superfuzz Bigmuff", it's an alliance that Mark Arm and co. have kept to this very day, save for a mid period dalliance with Reprise, through the ups and downs of their career. On "Vanishing Point" though, the band are here to prove that theyr'e back on the top of their game.
Opening with the admittedly weak "Slipping Away" seems like a bit of a mis-step but thing pick up with an early highlight in the form of "I Like It Small". A tongue-in-cheek assault on excess, you can almost see the smirks on the band's faces as Mark Arm professes "when I orgy, I cap it at twelve/ any more than that and I get overwhelmed". "What To Do With The Neutral" is similar in tone to "Slipping Away" but executed much more competently before the punk rock pace of "Chardonnay"- an ode to "the grape that launched a thousand strippers". In just the opening four tracks, MUDHONEY manage to successfully navigate the different facets of their sound with the youthful rage of their earlier material rubbing shoulders with slower, more mature numbers. As always, the band don't take themselves to seriously with plenty of dry quips scattered across their lyrics and, while they're undoubtedly not breaking any new ground, it's all good fun.
On "Vanishing Point", MUDHONEY reinstate their place as the kings of grunge still standing head and shoulders above new acts like METZ whom the band's influence upon is clear. They don't quite recapture the vitality of "Touch Me I'm Sick" or "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More" form their classic "Superfuzz Bigmuff" but they do prove that they've earned the respect newcomers to the scene pay to them and they haven't pissed all over their legacy yet. For anyone looking for a nostalgia trip, "Vanishing Point" provides it in spades while still retaining a relevance that will hopefully attract a new generation of fans. They've still got a few more decades of grunge goodness in them! (6/10)
"Vanishing Point" is out now through Sub Pop