Sound — 8
Mudhoney are an alternative rock band who first formed in Seattle back in 1988, following the demise of a small local act called Green River. They soon began to command a large worldwide audience following the release of their critically acclaimed debut EP, "Superfuzz Bigmuff", which showcased the band's grunge-esque sound featuring raging vocals and crunchy guitar work. Now, Mudhoney announce their return to the music scene with their new studio album, "Vanishing Point", which shows the band maintaining and appropriately applying their original signature sound first showcased in such songs as "Touch Me I'm Sick" to a collection of 10 brand new, soon-to-be fan favorites and classics. The disc is kicked off with "Slipping Away", which opens out with the engaging percussion solo, before shifting into a downright racing tune filled with engaging guitar licks and screaming lead vocals. The production quality is top-notch, and gives each song off the new album a consistently nostalgic vibe and feel. Right off the bat, "Vanishing Point" is proving to be a fantastic return-to-form, considering its the bands first release of new studio material in over half a decade.
Lyrics — 7
Lead vocalist Mark Arm gives a passionate effort all throughout "Vanishing Point". He's been with Mudhoney since the very beginning, channeling large amounts of anger and hate and applying them to his vocals for over two decades. It's evident with the new album that all of these years of screaming both onstage and in the studio has taken a toll on his vocal chords, and it seems a bit difficult for him to maintain his higher register for very long on such tracks as "I Like It Small" and the previously mentioned "Slipping Away". At times, this does affect the overall listening experience; however, when Mark does take on a neutral pitch when backed by those pick grinding guitar riffs, you can easily get into the groove and crank the volume up to 10 with absolutely no difficulty whatsoever.
Overall Impression — 7
For the most part, "Vanishing Point" is a frequently thrilling comeback album for alt rockers Mudhoney, which despite some noticeable changes when it comes to vocals is an overall great album that any established fan, as well as any passionate alternative rock follower, should be able to enjoy.