Mudhoney Gig Review - Kentish Town Forum

Mudhoney Gig Review - Kentish Town Forum

by john / Jun 04, 2015 / 0 comments
Saturday, 30 May 2015

It’s 2015 at The Kentish Town Forum, yet halfway through Mudhoney’s pumping set, frontman Mark Arm took the entire crowd to 1992 Seattle, screaming and thrashing on stage in a way no 53 year old should be able to. Few punks get better with age, and the members of Mudhoney are examples of that exception. As they furiously cranked through their back catalog, the sound was as crunchy and raw as the first time you heard grunge rock, yet the songs were air-tight. The band has married punk attitude and practiced musicianship perfectly. It’s hard to select a highlight as the entire set was fantastic, but “You Stupid Asshole” stands out as a iconic moment.

You may or may not know the story of Mudhoney. Pioneers of the early 90s grunge rock scene, they inspired and paved the path for Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth, and the multitude of grunge bands that followed. In 1993, Kurt Cobain listed Mudhoney’s “Superfuzz Bigmuff” as one of the albums he thought most influential to Nirvana's sound. They were Sub Pop’s first flagship band, and the industry believed that they were going to be the grunge rock act that “broke through.”

That never really happened, and Mudhoney remained an indie-level act with a dedicated cult following, rather than a multi-platinum artist like their contemporaries.

But when you see the live show in 2015, there is no denying Mudhoney was part of the genesis that gave birth to all the bands this 35 year old worshipped as a young teenager. I remember the exact day I came home from school and saw “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on MTV for the first time. I was 12 years old and it felt like the planet had just shifted. No one will ever know what kind of music Kurt Cobain would be making if he were alive today, but I’d make a safe bet that it wouldn’t sound anything like The Foo Fighters. I’d like to believe it would be as angry and honest, and as far away from pop rock as grunge always was. Mudhoney is still giving us what all those bands gave us 23 years ago, in a way that is not nostalgic, just fucking awesome.

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Rating out of 11: