Sunday, 24 June 2007



Easily one of the greatest singles in alternative rock history “Touch Me I’m Sick” if often described as a (grunge) anthem and in a rare example of perception being correct for once it is a song that delivers wholesale.

Lyrically as dumb as it gets, it also benefits from possessing the ability to cause great offence if observed by the wrong people from the right angle. There is an ambiguous tone to the words that if taken one way can represent the largings of quite frankly a paedophile. Also with the whole “sick” tone of proceedings there is a horrible element of trivialising the most precious and affecting of states. If you over analyse these words you are destined to find the worst parts of the human condition.

This recorded version by Jack Endino is actually a pretty clunky offering from Mudhoney as listening to countless live recordings of the song will attest to its power and strength ranging far beyond what is offered by this record. For a Mudhoney song it is a pretty clean recording, low on fuzz and distortion as it seemingly gets underplayed and buried beneath the verbal intention of the piece. Rarely did the band ever sound more like The Stooges.

“Sweet Young Ain’t Sweet No More” on the flipside perhaps fairs better sounding more apocalyptic and drunk in the process with yet more explicitly dark lyrics addressing more dysfunction in a fashion that appears to have no resounding comeback. Painting the nasty of pictures here is a band writing songs about realistic and tangible tales of what it is really like to be a true rebellious youth in the face of so many false idols. As the playing rains out Steve Turner’s guitar retorts sound almost like a hoover sucking up the debris in the damage of the piece. The elevation is then complete as Mark Arm’s vocals disappear into the ether only to return with a condemning snarl aimed directly towards the mother of the piece. It all ends as a song about bad parenting. Such is life.

Without doubt the best single ever released on Sub Pop.

Thesaurus moment: Gore.

Sub Pop

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