Did anyone ever attribute much of a social conscience to Mudhoney back in the day when they were "The Guys Who Built Grunge"? All these years later, their outrage at the state of the world around them has finally reared its head on their seventh studio album, Under a Billion Suns. Don't worry, Mudhoney have not gotten goopy or sensitive, they've just found new things to snarl about that have a greater degree of political significance -- "Hard-On for War" is a rude but emphatic number in which you learn why "horny old men are always eager for war. " The current era of conspicuous consumption goes under the knife in "Empty Shells"; "Where Is the Future" rails against the empty accomplishments of the 20th century, and "It Is Us" reminds all of who is really to blame.
Mudhoney dropped Under a Billion Suns in March to zero fanfare. Despite nine quality albums, the world, it seemed, had moved on from Mudhoney a long time ago. A bunch of young turks had seized the wheel of the post-Stooges van and were steering it down some freaky new highways while Mudhoney was off on Interscope. (Of course this is a rather unfair jibe as My Brother the Cow and Tomorrow Hits Today are actually very good records.) So what’s a band to do that sticks to its guns and produces some of the finest sludgy blues-punk this side of Blue Cheer? Well, for starters, add horns.