Thursday, 27 September 2007



Released in Australia it is difficult to tell whether this is a genuine release or a bootleg. Certainly looking up Augogo on the internet they do appear to be a legitimate label so perhaps this is another case of one of Sub Pop’s early licensing options.

The cover displays the infamous photo of a drunken Matt Lukin having passed out only to have the remainder of the band cover him with biro tattoos of penises. Its an astonishing sight, the kind of picture that has to be believed to be seen.

The release is of four early cover versions done by the band. The lead track is the aforementioned cover of “Hate The Police” by The Dicks which is a towering steamroller of a track with righteous and disparaging messages all delivered in classic hardcore methodology.

Coming second is the band’s cover of “Revolution” by Spacemen 3 which for a long while they used to close their set with. It has to be said the Mudhoney version improved on the original several times over. Basically they possess fuzz and chops that the Spacemen 3 just lacked.

Having previously appeared on the Sub Pop 200 compilation the band’s cover of “The Rose” by a dramatic Bette Midler has come to be best known as the song Kurt Cobain began singing as he took to the stage at Reading 92. This version here though is without doubt the definitive one that opens with the sound of the tide coming in and sees an emotional Mark Arm croon while Steve Turner adds a torrent over guitar to proceedings scoring the turmoil within the words of the story.

This release concludes with their cover version of “Halloween” by Sonic Youth which is suitably arty and awkward as a song originally sung by Kim Gordon now comes delivered by a male still bleeding words from a female perspective and sounding quite frankly strange as Arm repeatedly says “you want me to come, you want me to come” in a way that generally New York types tend to be only able to get away with. It’s a slow paced and often torturous track but Mudhoney thankfully manage to bring a bit more life to proceedings than the Yoof did on the original.

They’re so good between the covers.

Thesaurus moment: ameliorate.

Augogo Records

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