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Since We've Become Translucent

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Album Review

Yes folks, Mudhoney is back — three years after the near-fatal one-two punch of Matt Lukin's resignation from the band and Reprise Records dropping the group from their roster, the founding fathers of grunge have shaken off the dust and recorded Since We've Become Translucent, which oddly enough sounds a bit like the adventurous major-label project the band never bothered to make for Bugs Bunny. Mudhoney still ranks low on the slickness meter on Since We've Become Translucent (the entire album was recorded in eight days), but the band sounds at once heavier and more confident than it did during its major-label tenure, and the addition of horns on three tracks (and violin on one) adds new textures to the classic Mudhoney throb without crushing the band's personality or spirit. (Don't fret — the often atonal sax on the Stooges-esque "Baby, Can You Dig the Light" could have been pulled straight from side two of Fun House, while "Where the Flavor Is" is a raunchy slice of mutant funk in the manner of Exile on Main Street.) While Guy Maddison is in many respects a stronger bassist than Lukin was, he has the good sense to stay in the background where he belongs, and if Mark Arm and Steve Turner are playing less dropped-tune metalized riffs these days, this is still Mudhoney, and there's something gloriously unclean about the snotty "The Straight Life," the sleazy "Where the Flavor Is," and the menacingly anthemic "Our Time Is Now" after all these years. Since We've Become Translucent isn't always the Mudhoney you remembered, but the album clearly carries the stamp of the band's personality, and shows the group can still rock out while pulling a few new tricks from its collective sleeve. Nice to have you back, guys — did you bring beer money?


Formed: 1988 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Nirvana may have been the band that put an entire generation in flannel, and Pearl Jam and Soundgarden both sold a lot more records, but Mudhoney were truly the band that made the '90s grunge rock movement possible. Mudhoney were the first real success story for Sub Pop Records; their indie-scene success laid the groundwork for the movement that would (briefly) make Seattle, Washington, the new capital of the rock & roll universe; and they took the sweat-soaked and beer-fueled mixture of heavy metal...
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Since We've Become Translucent, Mudhoney
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