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Since the late '80s, Mudhoney – the Seattle-based foursome whose muck-crusted version of rock, shot through with caustic wit and battened down by a ferocious low end – has been a high-pH tonic against the ludicrous and the insipid. Thirty years later, the world is experiencing a particularly high-water moment for both those ideals. But just in time, vocalist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison, and drummer Dan Peters are back with Digital Garbage, a barbed-wire-trimmed collection of sonic brickbats. Arm's raw yawp and his bandmates' long-honed chemistry make Digital Garbage an ideal release valve for the 2018 pressure cooker.

"My sense of humor is dark, and these are dark times," says Arm. "I suppose it's only getting darker." Digital Garbage opens with the swaggering "Nerve Attack," which can be heard as a nod both to modern-life anxiety and the ever-increasing threat of warfare. The album's title comes from the outro of "Kill Yourself Live," which segues from a revved-up Arm organ solo into a bleak look at the way notoriety goes viral. Appropriately enough, bits of recent news events float through the record: "Please Mr. Gunman," on which Arm bellows "We'd rather die in church!" over his bandmates' careening charge, was inspired by a TV-news bubblehead's response to a 2017 church shooting, while the ominous refrain that opens the submerged-blues of "Next Mass Extinction" calls back to the clashes in Charlottesville. 

Mudhoney's core sound – steadily pounding drums, swamp-thing bass, squalling guitar wobble, Arm's hazardous-chemical voice – remains on Digital Garbage, which the band recorded with longtime collaborator (and contributing pianist) Johnny Sangster at the Seattle studio Litho. The anti-religiosity shimmy "21st Century Pharisees" builds its case with Maddison's woozy synths, which Arm says "add a really nice touch to the proceedings." Digital Garbagecloses with "Oh Yeah," a brief celebration of skateboarding, surfing, biking, and the joy provided by these escape valves. In the end, the riffs and fury of Digital Garbage will stand the test of time, even if some of the particulars [hopefully] fade away. 

 

Tracklist:

 

  1. Nerve Attack
  2. Paranoid Core
  3. Please Mr. Gunman
  4. Kill Yourself Live
  5. Night and Fog
  6. 21st Century Pharisees
  7. Hey Neanderfuck
  8. Prosperity Gospel
  9. Messiah's Lament
  10. Next Mass Extinction
  11. Oh Yeah

Mudhoney - Digital Garbage

SKU: 098787122510
₱1,600.00Price

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