Release Date: May 20, 2008
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Punk
The Lucky Ones marks Mudhoney's twentieth anniversary as a band, and in those two decades they've evolved from the guys that first brought the Seattle sound to loser record collectors around the world into a living anachronism as the Last Grunge Band Left Alive. But The Lucky Ones is a telling album to release on Mudhoney's big birthday, as it's the simplest and most unadorned album the band has released since 1995's overlooked masterpiece My Brother the Cow, and also the best. While Since We've Become Translucent and Under a Billion Suns proved Mudhoney had lost nothing in the way of fire or focus in the Twenty-First Century, The Lucky Ones is a brave step backwards into the primitivism of Superfuzz Bigmuff, and though Tucker Martine's engineering and mix is cleaner and better detailed than what Jack Endino brought to the band's early sessions, the approach seems much the same -- roll tape and lurch into the songs with all the muscle the boys can muster, and when the band kicks into fourth gear on "The Open Mind," "I'm Now" and the title cut, this stuff comes on as raw and messed-up as anything Mudhoney has unleashed in years, and Steve Turner's guitar work is little short of feral.
In the late 1980s, when the legendary Seattle band Green River split into two bands -- Mother Love Bone and Mudhoney -- it was the former that got most of the attention, if only because after a couple desultory releases, some members went on to form Pearl Jam. Mudhoney, however, both came out of the gate with a classic Superfuzz/Bigmuff on Sub Pop) and are still at it. The Lucky Ones is their eighth release, and the first since 2006’s Under a Billion Suns.
Public demand be damned, Mudhoney is still here. With The Lucky Ones, the band release their eighth studio album, coming a full two decades after the classic Superfuzz Bigmuff. The Lucky Ones is a lean, punchy affair with almost nary a digression into the sort of dirge-blues nod-offs that have appeared on more recent releases. Instead, the eleven tracks here are tight, raw, and marked by insistent thumping rhythms and taught chunky riffs, laying the groundwork for one of the band’s most straight-ahead rock albums in years.
Listening to Mudhoney’s eighth full-length is reminiscent of the tribunal scene in Animal House, where Otter addresses the matter of the Delta house’s relative guilt: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief: The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules or took a few liberties with our female party guests. We did. ” Mudhoney knows its long suit, is done making anti-Bush statements and has returned to mining the raw sewage that forms the quartet’s aural heritage.