Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Slipping Away” by Mudhoney, from the 2013 album Vanishing Point on Sub Pop.
One of Seattle’s most influential and enduring bands, Mudhoney’s mix of punk, garage, and blues rock has remained as potent as ever, even as the band has grown old. Formed in 1988 in the wake of Green River, vocalist/guitarist Mark Arm, bassist Steve Lukin, guitarist Steve Turner, and drummer Dan Peters, immediately began rehearsing and writing, releasing the Superfuzz Bigmuff EP and the “Touch Me I’m Sick” single on the then-fledgling Sub Pop label. The band soon became the label’s flagship artist, and after a period in the ’90s on Reprise, the quartet (with bassist Guy Maddison replacing the retired Lukin) returned to their Seattle home, where they’ve been ever since. Vanishing Point, the band’s ninth studio album, finds the band as loose and loud as ever, roaring with the same energy that fueled Superfuzz Bigmuff and the same self-aware attitude that makes Mudhoney one of the only band that could sell a song titled “Douchebags on Parade.” Muscular and searing, “Slipping Away” shows that the band’s fury is as unrelenting as ever. Mark Arm’s sardonic lyrics and Turner’s sidewinding leads consistently compete for the spotlight, while the agile rhythm section of Maddison and Peters holds the chaos (barely) together. The band slows it down for a moment in the nearly-five-minute song’s middle section, but not before finishing strong in a distorted fury. There’s a saying in rock and roll that “it it’s too loud, you’re too old”, but if anyone even dared to suggest that about Mudhoney, Arm himself would probably jump into the pit as if it were still 1988 and find the guy before reminding him why Daydream Nation-era Sonic Youth invited the band out to their first European tour.
Mudhoney will play their next hometown show as part of Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee on July 13th. Get more info about that special show - which also features J Mascis, Greg Dulli, Father John Misty, and more (along with plenty of unannounced surprises) - over at Sub Pop’s website and keep up with Mudhoney on their website and Facebook. Watch the band play “Slipping Away” live at KEXP earlier this year.