Classic Album Review: Superfuzz Bigmuff

Artist: Mudhoney
Full Title: Superfuzz Bigmuff plus Early Singles
Year: 1988 (recorded), 1990 (released)
Label: Sub Pop
1) Touch Me I’m Sick– 10
2) Sweet Young Thing (Ain’t Sweet No More)– 9
3) Hate the Police (The Dicks)- 8
4) Burn It Clean- 8
5) You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face)– 9
6) Halloween (Sonic Youth)- 8
7) No One Has- 8/9
8) If I Think- 8
9) In “N” Out of Grace– 9
10) Need- 8
11) Chain That Door- 7/8
12) Mudride- 7/8

NOTE: “The album contains the entire Superfuzz Bigmuff EP, the A-sides and B-sides of 2 singles, and 2 covers from split singles with Sonic Youth and The Dicks.”- Wikipedia.

For those of you youngsters out there that are strugglin’ with the ladies, here’s a new pick up line for y’all to try out. Tell em’ “Touch Me I’m Sick!” So, after you get clocked in the face, grab a case of beer and get rowdy with this sucker. Here we have the legendary Mudhoney at their muddiest. Loud, fuzzy, muzzy guitars, pouding drums and the distinctive, apathetic drone of singer, Mark Arm. These songs have that filthy feel to them, but at the same time the riffs are memorable/catchy and Arm’s vocals are pretty damn clear, especially for this kind of music. As we all know this became the template for the Seattle Scene and what would become known to the rest of the world as “Grunge” (yes, I hate the term too, but it’s useful as a point of reference). This record and this band are without a doubt influential, but a tad bit overrated. Don’t get me wrong, most of the songs on here are good, it’s a very good record, but there are only a few great, stand out tracks, and yes they are exquisite. “Touch Me I’m Sick,” is fucking great for headbanging and I can imagine moshing; as a whole Mudhoney is great for an intoxicated state, particularly “Touch.” It’s a classic for a reason, well many reasons. Of course sonically it showscases the garagey Seattle sound better than any other tune in their catalog, but for me, the lyrics and presentation of those lyrics are also extremely vital. It’s a song I can relate to, a different kinda love ballad, if you will. You see it’s the honest male emotion that’s key here- “I’m a creep and I’m a jerk”- Arm’s nastiness and brutal delivery turns girls off, while spineless blokes like John Mayer sing about your daughter and tell the females exactly what they want to hear, so they can love him, at least they used to. But enough of that ranting and raving, “Touch” is complemented by its B-Side, “Sweet Young Thing,” which is the second track on this compilation, making it one of the greatest singles of all time. “In ‘N’ Out of Grace” is certainly one of my favorite tracks and exemplifies the group’s excellent guitar playing; one of the best riffs I have ever heard. All in all, this is a really good record, but not exceptional. I feel like Mudhoney is more of a “sound” band, like they have a great sound to almost all of these songs, but for me to love this thang, I need more fabulous tracks. It’s definitely worth a few listens and if you like “grunge” music, then well, you suck if you haven’t heard this and shouldn’t call yourself a fan of said style, but I’ll give you a break and let you listen to this and impress your average mainstream listening friends.

Grade: B+

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