Mudhoney with Japanese Motors and Model/Actress @ El Rey Theatre

November 14th, 2008

By Rita Neyter

Mudhoney on stage. Photo by Timothy Norris. Click image for entire slideshow.

“Mudhoney! HOLY SHIT!” shouted the bassist/vocalist of L.A.-based band Model/Actress. Holy shit, indeed. It's kind of hard to believe that Mudhoney unleashed its heavy distortion devotion Superfuzz Bigmuff EP on Sub Pop Records back in 1988. Now, twenty years later, the band is back on Sub Pop and still cranking out that in-your-face, garage flavored music that is distinctively and unapologetically Mudhoney.

Model/Actress started the night off with a raucous set of tunes. The band features former members of the Bullet LaVolta and Enon and also brought out special guest David Yow of the infamous Jesus Lizard to lend his vocals to a song called “Nodder.” Yow walked out on stage dressed in a shiny gray business suit, looking more like a banker than a punk, but quickly demonstrated he was a wolf merely dressed in sheep's clothing. He entertained the crowd with a sick little story about putting his fist so far up a girls ass (“past the intestines” and “all the way up to her head”) to make her nod, then going full force into a maelstrom of howls, screeches and screams.

David Yow howls on stage. Photo by Timothy Norris. Click image for entire slideshow.

Next up were Japanese Motors, a surf-punk inspired outfit from Costa Mesa. There was not much love from the crowd aside from a small handful of overdressed females that appeared to be confused about what club they were actually in, this being the El Rey and not the Florentine Gardens. Sentiments expressed by the audience included “You suck!” and chants for “Mudhoney! Mudhoney! In fact, all the band could do in order to incite cheers and suppress the hecklers was to scream “Mudhoney” too.

Finally Mudhoney tore right into an unforgettable hour-plus of new material from their latest album The Lucky Ones, along with many of their great classics — except the much screamed for “Into the Drink.” Tough break, I guess. Somehow it was fitting to start things off with “The Money Will Roll Right In,” featuring the lyrics, “I'm going to Hollywood/They'll see that I’m so good.” Mudhoney’s sound comes straight from the spleen, full of angst and bile best summed up through songs like “Suck You Dry,” “Hate The Police,” and with poignant lyrics like “Oh God, how I love to Hate,” from “In and Out of Grace.”

The L.A. crowd made few attempts at '90s style mosh pit shenanigans and some failed crowd surfing (as well some good old pogoing) especially for the song they are best known for — their 1988 debut single, “Touch Me I’m Sick.” Singer/guitarist Mark Arm, sporting a dark blue Black Flag T-shirt, is still as lanky and snarky as he ever was. Stomping a not-so-fine line between the wicked sludge (no, not grunge) of Black Sabbath and the punky clamor of the Stooges, the rest of the band, featuring original drummer Dan Peters and guitarist Steve Turner as well now long time bassist Guy Maddison, barreled through the set without much pause. Yeah, they've still got it.

The set included: (*** I am NOT 100% sure about the completeness or accuracy of the set list***)

The Money Will Roll Right In

I'm Now

The Lucky Ones

Next Time

You Got it

Suck You Dry

Inside Job

Blinding Sun

Sweet Young Thing

No One Has

Good Enough

Touch Me I'm Sick

This Gift

Hard-on for War

When Tomorrow Hits

In 'N' Out of Grace

Hate the Police

Here Comes Sickness


The Open Mind

Street Waves

Tales of Terror

Fix Me

Sadly omitted:

Into the Drink

If I Think


You Stupid Asshole

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