Seattle rock heroes Mudhoney — the last band standing from the grunge era — celebrate their 20th anniversary this year with a new studio album, The Lucky Ones. On the phone from his new hometown of Portland, Oregon, guitarist Steve Turner gave us his take on some recent reviews:
With Steve Turner's guitar a buzzing hangover and Mark Arm snarling with irresistibly creepy restraint, Mudhoney's eighth studio album finds the band rocking like it's 1988 . . . or 2008. [It's a] feel-bad set of 11 Nuggets-ready songs to pump $4 gas by. (Billboard)
I think that's the general vibe on this record, and I think that's aided by the fact that we reissued our first record [1988's Superfuzz Bigmuff] at the same time, so they're kinda like bookends, almost. I kinda joked that this might be a midlife crisis [laughs]. The last couple records of ours were more expansive — we were doin' some things we hadn't done before, and spending a little bit more time, and, you know, not trying to make a proper "punk-rock Mudhoney record." This one, we were more than happy to make a stripped-down punk-rock record.
The differences between The Lucky Ones and its predecessor, Under a Billion Suns, are palpable. While neither record is particularly upbeat, The Lucky Ones isn't as sprawling . . . It has a liveliness that adds a nice subtle counterpoint to the band's trademark spit-and-bile style. (Dusted Magazine)
I think it's way different than the last record. I think it's still a really angry record, but it's not as pointed. I think the last record was Mark's political lyrics. It was really topical. I don't necessarily think that really works as well for us — I like more of vague anger. I feel the anger on this record much more than the last one. The last one was our NPR record [laughs].
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Although Mudhoney aren't shaking things up too much with their established formula, The Lucky Ones shows no signs of the band mellowing out, and their bloozy, fuzzy rock action still sounds pretty damn great after a couple High Lifes. (Tiny Mix Tapes)
You know, [drummer] Dan Peters drinks Miller High Life in the can at every practice. It's the champagne of beers!
Mudhoney remain bloody but unbowed, heavyweight champions of fuzz and feedback, and on the evidence of The Lucky Ones, no one with any sense is going to challenge their title anytime soon; they built this strange machine, and they can drive it better than anyone before or since. (All Music)
All right! That's great, but you gotta take that kinda praise with a giant grain of salt. It doesn't alter anything. At the end of the day, it still comes down to how much we wanna do it. We do it for selfish, strange reasons at this point. High praise doesn't pay the bills, and neither does Mudhoney.