I still remember the CD.
My Mudhoney collection was fairly impressive in ’93, having dug deep into the band’s Sub Pop soil, but the disc I found at Vintage Vinyl, Jack’s or wherever I was buying records at the time was of special interest: it was a live bootleg.
Hearing a band live – or hearing a live recording they had no control over releasing or not releasing – can be a sacred act, and live recordings, at their best, illustrate what an outfit sounds like at its most organic. That anonymous Mudhoney disc, a self-titled outing sometimes referred to as A Fulminant Live Act In Early Summer 1992, was good. And it give me a sneak peek into the Mudhoney live shows I was, then, too young to attend.
Enter LiE, short for “Live In Europe.” Out today on Sub Pop, the band’s once and future home, the not-limited, not-bootlegged live disc assembles some recent thrashings of Mark Arm & Co. and, for Mudhoney aficionados, it’s pretty essential stuff. It’s viciously performed and carefully recorded. In short, it’s a good disc. But that’s where I stop.
Yes, songs like “Get Into Yours,” off 1989’s Mudhoney, and “Judgement, Rage, Retribution and Thyme,” off 1995’s My Brother The Cow, are blister-inducing. The closer, the epic “Broken Hands,” off Every Good Boy Deserve Fudge, is wonderful. But, it’s not an introduction to the band’s best work – nor its best lineup: Lukin snatch – or a must-have addition to the catalog. As grunge goes, it...