The release of Mudhoney’s ninth studio album might coincide with the 25th anniversary of both the band and Sub Pop, the label that put out their first ever record back in 1989, but its 10 sneering, snarling, snotty songs could easily have been written at the start of their career. Boisterous, belligerent and rebellious, Vanishing Point is the sound – and a loud, vicious, nasty swirl of sound at that – of a band still kicking against the pricks; raw and unrefined, it has as much energy and attitude as any of their previous albums.
In fact, there’s an extra dose of nihilistic cynicism to be found in the likes of Sing This Song Of Joy, I Don’t Remember You and the raised middle finger of closer Douchebags On Parade. Mark Arm’s vocals are full of power and defiance, especially on the tremulous, Melvins-esque shimmer of In This Rubber Tomb: a grim, psychedelic foray into a dark and bleak world of misanthropy.
In an industry that’s saturated with homogenised sounds and manufactured emotions, Vanishing Point is Mudhoney’s reminder to the world that it’s still possible – and important – to be real. It’s not always pretty, but life isn’t. You still have to live it, though.