by Mitch Myers
Where have all the grunge bands gone? Come on, you know. Kurt Cobain got famous and every band in the Pacific Northwest signed with a major label in hopes of success akin to Nirvana's Nevermind. Since Cobain checked out, bands such as Soundgarden and Alice in Chains either imploded, got bored or self-destructed otherwise. Second generation grungmeisters Pearl Jam evolved into arena-rock giants and the only originals to endure are the Screaming Trees and Mudhoney. Of the two, Mudhoney's frenetic, post-metal-punk aesthetic hasn't changed all that much since its first single came out on the Sub Pop label in 1988.
On Tomorrow Hit Today, Memphis mojo madman-producer Jim Dickinson molds Mudhoney's over-the-top grunge sound into the band's most powerful album since its seminal debut, Superfuzz Bigmuff. Massively distorted electric guitars still clash and shudder while vocalist Mark Arm sings-screams in an urgent voice that would put most modern vocalists in the hospital for a month.
A strange confluence of Mudhoney's caustic sonic identity and inspired professionalism, the band's humorous post-punk observations have actually matured over the years. The song "Beneath the Valley of the Underdog" gives a psychotronic nod to filmmaker Russ Meyer (who's also responsible for the band's name) and jazz maestro Charles Mingus, while "This is the Life" provides astute social commentary confronting the current sub-mentality of stripmall America. An extremely successful psychedelic experiment, Tomorrow Hit Today illuminates the guitar-heavy motif of Mudhoney's illustrious past by using more fuzzboxes than Jimi Hendrix ever dreamed of.
Long after Eddie Vedder sheds his Pearl Jammies to make a solo record, Mudhoney will still be alive and well and bellowing into the void.