Morning In America by MudhoneyRelease date: September 20, 2019
Label: Sub Pop
Seattle veterans Mudhoney have returned, almost a year to the day since the release of their excellent Digital Garbage album with a new EP. Morning In America features seven tracks gathered from sources including the album recording sessions, hard to find tracks and new recordings to coincide with their latest North American tour.
The majority of this release focuses on the slower, heavier side of the band. Opener ‘Vortex of Lies’ is a loose laid back rant that sees vocalist Mark Arm employ his signature elongated drawl to great effect. The title track and ‘Snake Oil Charmer’ later on the EP share similar traits, the former being a cynical look at the USA showing their disdain for the current state of their homeland.
It’s not all one one paced though, there are a couple of short, sharp fuzzed up garage rock classics in there that really lift the energy and bring a nostalgic smile to those of us old enough to have been there in the early nineties. ‘Creeps Are Everywhere’ and the excellent Leather Nun cover ‘Ensam I Natt’ are so close to being my highlight in this release (the guitar sound on the latter is pretty close to my idea of perfection). These two tracks have everything that first drew me to the band way back.
It’s the alternate versions of previous recordings that really stand out here. The new version of ‘Kill Yourself Live Again’ is a rawer, angrier take on social media and celebrity culture sees the band again at their most cynical and their penchant for darker humour. Closer ‘One Bad Actor’ is a new version of a track from a long sold out 7” and again they have given it that added rawness that adds a new edge to the track. Re-recordings add so much more than remixes or remasterings.
It’s great to see a band really embracing the use of an EP. A mixture of material that mops up that recording cycle for a band, throwing some new, some unreleased and some rare material. It manages in its relatively short running time to bring together all that’s made the band legends within their scene. Seven tracks of the muddiest honey.