Twenty-five years after their formation, Mudhoney lay claim to the protectors of the idealized “Seattle” sound with Vanishing Point. Always an infectious band full on grunge, garage and punk, the rowdy foursome are oft overlooked by the outside world when discussing Seattle’s imprint on the musical landscape.
Vanishing Point pays lip service to all the Emerald City’s past. Opener “Slipping Away” conjures a Hendrix hex, “Chardonnay” an angry toast to city’s past, “Douchebags on Parade” a subtle nod to the city’s present reputation. “I Don’t Remember You” is most recognizable of the album’s tracks as distinctly Mudhoney but like much of Vanishing Point, the careless crunch and rabbit punches of the past are pushed aside in favor of melody and rhythm.
That the angst and edge of past Mudhoney albums is remarkably absent, it’s not to the detriment of album and band. Twenty-five years is a lifetime in modern rock and the band has transitioned from graffiti to obelisk. They are historians of a tradition whittled to talking points, Vanishing Point a proper retelling of the way it was and the way it will be. Vanishing Point is seasoned, lacking none of the attitude of Mudhoney, just less of it in shorter, more effective doses.