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Rhythm & Views

Mudhoney

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Forget Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and all those other dyed-in-the-flannel self-provocateurs of grunge, Mudhoney was artistically the undisputed, though often neglected, ruler of the early '90s Seattle rock scene. And March To Fuzz goes to prove it over two splendid, riff-spewing discs of hits, rarities, B-sides, covers and all sorts of musical haberdashery courtesy of these certifiable godfathers of grunge. Disc One gathers together 22 of the most recognizable "hits" from the stockpiled Mudhoney arsenal including fan favorites: "Touch Me I'm Sick," "In 'N' Out Of Grace," "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More," "You Got It" and "Here Comes Sickness" being just a few of the too-numerous-to-name highlights. For hardcore disciples who already own all the stupendously underappreciated albums, the companion disc collects 30 wonderfully rare marvels, among them the highly entertaining, rarely available covers "You Stupid Asshole" (Angry Samoans), "Pump It Up" (Elvis Costello) "Fix Me" (Black Flag) and "Revolution" (Spacemen 3). Seldom-heard gems as the distortion-drenched instrumental "Fuzzbuster" and the Captain Beefheart-indebted "Baby O Baby" round out the behind-the-scenes sonic delight. Unfortunately, Mudhoney's unfulfilled potential and creative smugness stalled their career from reaching the commercial height of Messieurs Cobain, Vedder and Cornell. But their fuzzed-out vocals, garage-rock edge and shared affection for second-hand blues progressions (read: Mountain, Blue Cheer, Stooges, etc.) is what set them apart from the commercially more successful grunge-posturing pack from the Pacific Northwest who were adored by millions. March To Fuzz validates Mudhoney as the one grunge group who deserves further scrutiny.

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