By: Dennis Cook
The title nimbly gets one guessing. Who's lucky? How are they lucky? Am I lucky? Nicely done, Mudhoney, who've kept listeners on their toes since 1988. Long ago saddled as a "grunge band," Mudhoney just likes sludge and big amps, and really who doesn't once they've sipped at the same trough as Crazy Horse, The Stooges, et al.? Beginning lost in the look in a girl's eyes, bouncing to a stray Jerry Lee Lewis piano outburst and Cro-Magnon drums, The Lucky Ones (Sub Pop), their eighth album in roughly 20 years, is quality meat 'n' taters rock. Inching a bit closer to Dead Moon territory this time out, Mudhoney conjures up Johnny Thunders, John Bonham and a young Chuck Berry and fixes them up with a shot of their respective poisons, and beckons us to join them with a sly come-on.
"Inside Out Over You" seems like good but generic garage thud until they add a tiny Arabic tinged coda. Same deal with the title cut on the garage tip, that is until the song's full bite sinks into you, Jim Carroll spit and tobacco ooze infecting your wound as they howl, "The lucky ones have already gone down/ The lucky ones are lucky they aren't around." Well, opening inquiry answered. They revisit their metal leanings on "Next Time" & "Tales of Terror" and then dive into their own version of summer psychedelia on "And The Shimmering Light." Everywhere it sounds like they enjoyed making this record, where their creative juices flow freely and they clatter together in a nakedly enthusiastic manner. Two decades in most bands aren't making records this good, and it's a good sign that Mudhoney isn't slowing down in any way.
JamBase | Seattle
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