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!
“We assure you, this was filmed ages ago, before any quarantine! No monkeys were harmed. No viruses spread. Not even a vegetarian was offended. Stay safe, rejoice responsibly and see ya down the line. DP.”
…exclaim Dirty Power, who in times of gig cancellations and uncertainty throughout both the music industry and the world, have taken the opportunity to send out some digital cheer, releasing earlier than expected their latest track ‘Oh God’, newcomer to the bands 2018 EP ‘Notions’.
Influenced by gloriously timeless ‘legacy acts’; Dublin based hard-rock trio Dirty Power are driven by an independent D.I.Y. punk ethic, in everything from the writing, recording and release process, to approaching performing and touring. They stick to doing what they want to do, and do it their own way. Dirty Power is an ever evolving collective of musicians, and OH GOD is their 2020, gorilla reincarnation.
Think Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine, all in one giant melting pot of influence yet creative originality. Having taken to the stage internationally, the live scene is where Dirty Power’s music really comes alive, but since the unfortunate cancellation of their recent London show (curated by Camden Rocks) due to the worldwide pandemic, amongst other engagements, Dirty Power have taken to the net to dish out one giant “clean elbow wave” in the form of ‘Oh God’. And rest assured, when the live scene is back in action, so will Dirty Power be… Expect ‘Fist-pumping, cathartic, mosh-pit-rock for the mind’ and ‘Heavy rock riffs, big grooves, with tricky solos and sing-along choruses’.
‘Oh God’ – Available to download via BandCamp ONLY: Here
Wow, April managed to take plenty of Rock and Roll royalty over the years and this week sees the anniversaries of some pretty high profile legends as well as some really controversial figures.
The 5th of April 1994 was the day a global audience of MTV news watchers gawped on in horror at the news breaking that day saying Kurt Cobain had been found dead in his garage from a shotgun wound to the head. such tragic circumstances for such a young man whilst he might have been a troubled man he did have a daughter he left behind. Prior to his death Cobain was having problems over in Europe with his drug addiction and was hospitalised. His band Nirvana were just about the biggest thing on the planet at the time as they headlined festivals and their third album had just sold millions globally it seemed from the outside that he had everything he could possibly have wanted at his feet yet inside he just couldn’t cope and couldn’t see any way out of it other than to take his own life. The twenty-five years have just flown by who knows where he’d be in today’s musical climate and he and his band will forever be frozen in time having achieved so much in a relatively short space of time his music will live on. Buy Nirvana Here
Two days after Cobain checked out the music world lost another talented soul and cool cat that was Lee Brilleaux the chain-smoking, harmonica honkin’ frontman for the most excellent Dr. Feelgood. Born Lee John Collinson on the 10th of May 1952 the South African would be brought up in West London later moving with his family to Canvey Island where he would later carve out his own little spot in music history by forming Dr. Feelgood with Wilco Johnson in 1971. He continued the band long after the departure of fellow co-founder Johnson up until his untimely death from Lymphoma in 94. Probably most famous for their debut album ‘Down By The Jetty’ that no doubt influenced many in the new wave/pub rock scene that happened in the late 70’s early 80’s and the hit single ‘Milk & Alcohol’ which was a top ten single from the ‘Practice Practice’ album. Its also true that he helped start Stiff records with a loan of £500. RIP Lee. Buy Dr Feelgood Here
On the sixth of April in ’98 lead singer of the Plasmatics the enigmatic larger than life frontwoman Wendy O Williams also took her own life with a shotgun. Williams had relative success with her punk band the Plasmatics and their brand of shock rock which was a punk rock version of the Alice Cooper show with plenty of chaos and her iconic Mohawk she also famously sang a shambolic duet with Lemmy on ‘Stand By Your Man’ and the far better ‘No Class’.
Williams hailed from New York and is most known for her work with the Plasmatics as well as her solo albums but it was the punk band where she got the most notoriety after being arrested in several states for public indecency after appearing naked and simulating masturbation on stage she then took to wearing the gaffa tape over her nipples to avoid arrest.
Anyway, after her duet with Lemmy, she got Gene Simmons to produce her ‘WOW’ solo album and got the members of kiss including Stanley to play on it. In the later part of the 80’s she reformed The Plasmatics. By the 90’s she’d had enough and retired with her partner to Connecticut where she worked with animals and shying away from any sort of public life she tried to take her own life by stabbing herself in the chest it wasn’t until the April of 98 that she went into the woods with a gun and took her own life leaving her partner a note. Her passing shook the rock and roll community with the likes of Joey Ramone making a statement as well as her old friend Lemmy. There was also a tribute concert put on at CBGB where the surviving members of The Plasmatics played a short set in her honour and even a few years ago Record Store Day reissued a record of Plasmatics tunes on a special 11″ disc back in 2014 entitled ‘Fuck n Roll’ (very original) so on the 6th of April raise a glass and play a Wendy O tune Rest In Peace Wendy O Williams ‘The Queen of Shock Rock’ Buy WoW Here
Also in April Per Yngve Ohlin died on the 8 April 1991. Committing suicide in possibly the most horrific way back in 91 Per was better known as ‘Dead’ lead throat for the Black Metal legends Mayhem. He also had a stint in Morbid and is infamously known as a pioneer in the Black Metal scene. He slit his own wrists and throat before blowing the top of his head off with a shotgun. He did leave a suicide note that ended with the words, “Excuse The Blood”! Don’t let it be said that Black Metal lacks a sense of humor no matter how dark.
Euronymous found his bandmate and before contacting the police, he allegedly went to a shop and bought a disposable camera with then photographed the body of his bandmate. Euronymous also put out there that he had made a stew with bits of Dead’s brain and had made necklaces with bits of his skull. Euronymous claimed to have given these necklaces to musicians he thought worthy, which was confirmed by several other members of the scene, like Bård ‘Faust’ Eithun, Metalion, and Morgan Håkansson. the pictures were developed in secret and kept at their record store Helvete before finding their way to the head of Warmaster Records in South America who used the picture on the cover of the Mayhem live album ‘Dawn Of The Black Hearts’ as incredible and fucked up as it sounds it was possibly the catalyst for a spiral of mayhem (no pun intended) within the scene that was already pretty fucked up but never the less made the band infamous in Heavy Metal circles and would see to it that Mayhem would be immortalized forever. Dark times indeed RIP young man. Buy Mayhem Here
Finally, we salute the passing of the Pistols Svengali the one the only Mr. Malcolm McLaren impresario, visual artist, performer, musician, clothes designer, master manipulator shop keeper. Born on 22nd of January 1946 he passed away on April the 8th 2010. At only 64 years old McLarens life was brought down by Cancer of the Abdomen Laid to rest in Higate Cemetry McLaren will be most remembered for his Rock and Roll Swindle and his master manipulation of the music world during the Sex Pistols brief time spearheading the punk movement of the late 70’s and narrating the Rock and Roll Swindle. If you don’t know his story then where have you been Let it rock became ‘Sex’ which is where he assembled the Pistols and the rest, as they say, is History.
He did manage along the way to get arrested at the Queens Jubilee, fuck up the New York Dolls and replace Thunders with Blackie Lawless!! (Go figure) Put together Bow wow wow with the then 13-year-old singer Annabella Lewin and also make Buffalo Girls go round the outside. McLaren lived life to the full and whatever he turned his hand to seemed to be extremely successful at it. With almost a decade in the rear view mirror of life, we salute McLaren and his contribution to music RiP sir. Buy Malcolm McLaren Here