The Lucky Ones redefines stripped-down, “back 2 basics” ramalama, certainly when it comes to Mudhoney’s recent past. I mean, it’s not like the band’s other twenty-first century works (2002’s Since We’ve Become Translucent and 2006’s Under a Billion Suns) were proggy, topographic explorations or anything—far from it. Yet this new one is deliberately and aggressively raw. It sounds as lean and as full-on as any modern equivalent one cares to mention. Recorded in a scant 3.5 days (including overdubs) with Tucker Martine (who also recorded four songs on the previous album), Mudhoney went in armed with a batch of new material expecting to spend a fair amount of time getting it right. Bang—and bang again after some mixing—and a new album was birthed in record time, faster than anything else the band’s done to date.
Quoth singer Mark Arm, “We decided that since everything came together so serendipitously that we shouldn’t fuck with it, and these 11 songs should be the album.” Arm actually doesn’t even play guitar on this one, which conjures up sumptuous visions of the man himself bounding about the live stage with a mic stand doing perennial Mudhoney encore “Hate the Police.” All guitar (lead, rhythm and histrionics) is assigned to Steve Turner this time, and listening to The Lucky Ones finds Turner’s axe-wielding deftness and heft arriving intact, with strange squalls and meaty blasts rebounding in every aural corner.
The Cynics are Pittsburgh's 20something years running garage band kings and they still show the kids how its done. A primal fuzz-guitar riff lets you know you're back in the garage, where rock 'n' roll has never died, before the singer takes your head off with a tortured howl as fierce as anything this side of "Plastic Ono Band," then backs it up with lyrics custom-made for sneering. The Mighty Cynics ARE back with a New LP and the same fuzzed out mayhem that made their live shows legendary. In the past two years The Cynics were extremely active, playing shows & festivals 'round the big blue marble. They even did a few acoustic shows which spotlighted the rich song writing talents of the Kastelic/Kostelich team. Never has this talent been more on display than on on the new LP, Living Is The Best Revenge. That's not it there to the right. That's their debut from 1986.