It seems to be a thing in 2020 with no live shows to get excited over and everyone everywhere being on lockdown.  Some labels have been very busy trawling the archives for material to pull together box sets and nobody has been better at it recently than Cherry Red who have released a plethora of great box sets of the last few months many that we here at RPM have been very happy to get our teeth stuck into.  Today we tackle another of the better box sets that which belongs to Mudhoney easily one of the best bands ever to emerge out of the early 90s grunge explosion but those who know are well aware there was so much more going on with Mark Arm and his band of Brothers than being anther Grunge band because they never really fitted into the genre comfortably as much as the media wanted to paint them as just another Sub Pop band they were more closely belonging to the post Stooges garage scene than anything else and their music was so much better than 99% of the other bands coming out of the USA at the time.  showcasing Mudhoney’s major label period, 1992-1998.

What we have here is the three albums, some B-sides and live recordings, plus the promotional-only ‘On Tour Now’ live album that the band did during their major label period in the ’90s, 1992-1998 if you want to be precise.

Also includes are rare outtakes and sampler-only tracks. as well as the singles ‘Generation Spokesmodel’, ‘Suck You Dry’, ‘Blinding Sun’, ‘Five Dollar Bob’s Mock Cooter Stew’ and ‘Into Your Shtik’, plus the B-sides.  This was also loving put together in conjunction with Mudhoney. and to be fair the Sleevenotes includes new interview material with Mark Arm so a thorough trawl has been made.

Having emerged in 1989 and become a mainstay of the American alternative scene, Mudhoney moved from Sub Pop to Reprise Records and produced three albums during the 1990s for Reprise Records. Whilst not achieving the success enjoyed by the likes of Pearl Jam and Nirvana, the band kept at it and even expanded their live following and always maintained the respect of their peers.

 

The live promo-only recording is unhinged and shows how damn good Mudhoney was/are live.  ‘Suck You Dry’ still sounds fantastic and ‘Piece Of Cake’ was and still is a cracking album. For me I loved ‘My Brother The Cow’ most of all and still consider it their finest album from that head fuck slide of ‘Judgement, Rage, Retribution And Thyme’.  The brooding menacing of ‘In My Finest Suit’. The wild ride of ‘F.D.K. (Fearless Doctor Killers)’.  Some of the period B sides do leave a lot to be desired and were cutting room floor experiments to amuse the band and probably were better off staying uncovered. ‘Sissy Bar, ‘Carjack 94’ etc are fine examples of a band not taking themselves too seriously. but amongst the rough tracks are the diamonds that need a little spit and shine and songs like ‘Not Going Down That Road Again’ are gems.  HArdcore fans and completists will find a lot fo this as much needed nuggets from Arm and co.
‘Tomorrow Hit Today’ is one of those long-overlooked albums but when you have distance and clarity like maybe now, it’s a lot better than I remember.  Who knows if the band were tired or had hit a bit of a wall only they know that but songs like ‘I Had To Laugh’ and ‘Poisoned Water’.
Finally, disc 4 sees the first eight-track being commercially available for the first time but taken from the promo ‘On Tour Now’ recorded in Seattle in ’93 at the peak of the band’s powers and rightly so. They were the kings of the scene for me they embraced Garage Rock of the Stooges and MC5 as well as what was current in the alternative rock scene as Grunge they had it all but were perhaps too cool and hip to be regarded as Grunge frontrunners.  But those who know,  know.  Mudhoney fans and people with a hankering for some loud fuzzy Rock get a hold of this box set now.  Happy Christmas one and all!

Buy  Real Low Vibe Here

 

Author: Dom Daley

An often forgotten incarnation of Scottish punk legends, The Rezillos. A name change developed to get out of record contract obligations. Although only a slight change of a consonant, a definite stylistic shift saw the group becoming more of an Irn Bru tinged B-52’s. This new New Wave output was prime for the  American market and achieved a very much converted spot on a John Hughes teen movie soundtrack. Although the band maintained a massive following in Japan, they struggled to make a lasting impact in the UK & the US.

This box-set special lovingly compiled (as ever) by Cherry Red records, includes the band’s two studio albums Rev Up (1980) & Attack! (1982). Further items included in the set, an array of live recordings, BBC sessions, demos and non-album singles.
Disc 1 is primarily the debut album with added extras tacked onto the end. This album, the bands better-known work is a splendid mix of 60s girl group cool with rockabilly revival riffs and retro organ sounds. Additional material here includes the excellent stand-alone singles ‘Scuba Scuba’ and ‘Where’s The Boy For Me’ and two separate Peel sessions from 1980 & 1981 respectively.
The second disc featuring the lesser-known follow-up album ‘Attack!’, but the 2002 re-release version. Legend has it when the LP was released the wrong mix was used, causing copies to be eventually recalled. For completist purposes both mixes of this album have their own discs. Bonus tracks here include: a further BBC session and a Christmas cover of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’.
The remainder of this package is 3 discs of live material. The previously released Japanese live album, a UK reunion gig from 1996 and a rough live recording from 1981. The production quality on the Japan recordings is fantastic, the 96 reunion recordings are definitely worth an investigation but the 81 archive recording are definitely for completists only. Also added onto these final discs are further stand alone singles “Bitten By A Love Bug” & “Midnight”. These ended up being the last re-releases of the groups original run. I must admit I had never heard either before, but both are particularly strong material wise with very great production and it’s disappointing they called it a day not long after.
Overall this set is a well priced addition for Revillos/Rezillos fans looking to thicken out their collection, but as someone who has had a past interest and looking to hear further material this collection has a lot of much the same. When material is at it’s best the band shine their brightest, but unfortunately Cherry Red have included a lot of filler in this set.
Buy ‘Stratoplay’ Here
Author: Dan Kasm