Mudhoney - Under A Billion Suns

To survive the grunge era and live to tell the tale is a laudable feat for any Seattle band, but to still retain your reflective ruggedness and lyrical bite many years later is worthy of the highest commendation. Far from being Flat Out Fucked, this Mark Arm fronted outfit have garnered a piercing and insightful offering, building from their customary grinding guitar base. Steve Turner’s solo forays seem to have given him renewed vigour, as his riffs drives tracks such as the winding opener ‘Where Is The Future’ and the controversial tilt given to a contemporary issue; ‘Hard On For War’.

Deep soul and gut wrenching veracity is evident in Arm’s vocal cry and replicates the effect that their contemporaries Pearl Jam oft produced. This comes to the fore in the album’s equivalent of a billion solar eclipses; ‘Endless Yesterdays’. The fat bass lines and strident guitars give the jam happy ‘Brief Celebration Of Indifference’, some gripping longevity that will have you getting entangled in the instrumental grind. A horn section makes a guest appearance in ‘Let’s Drop In’ to juxtapose the howling and troubled vocals with some buoyant spirit. The real thing is back, so throw away the cheap imitations you have been making do with in their absence.

David Adair

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