Divided up into three different encounters with the BBC, Here Comes Sickness exhibits Mudhoney in their youth for a 1989 in-studio appearance on The John Peel Show, in their later years for a 1995 in-studio show for Evening Session, and a live concert set from 1995's Reading Festival for the John Peel Show. As far as the live, in-studio programs, Mudhoney is fairly tight. The production of the in-studio tracks from 1989 and 1995 are louder and cleaner sounding than the album versions of the songs. A perfect example is the opening number and title track "Here Comes Sickness." The band plays at a much more frantic pace filled with more emotion than the version from their 1989 self-titled album. Mark Arm's vocals slur and hiss, Steve Turner's lead guitar work stings with a vengeance, Matt Lukin's bass chugs along, and Dan Peters' drums are well-miked, adding to the overall strength of the tracks. Some of the songs are also sketches for their studio albums. The edition of "Poisoned Water Poisons the Mind," which later evolved into "Poisoned Water" on 1998's Tomorrow Hit Today, is shorter due to the absence of its guitar solo and outro. "Judgement, Rage, Retribution and Thyme," which turned up on 1995's My Brother the Cow, is more stripped down and less chintzy than that record's version, which included a corny marimba line. Flaws begin to appear in the Reading set though, but it's mainly due to how the instruments are mixed. Arm's vocals vary from being some of his best, projecting the feeling that he's going to rip someone's head off ("Into Yer Schtik"), to sounding his weakest, fighting to be heard over the loud guitars ("Judgement, Rage, Retribution and Thyme"). Lukin's bass is also nearly inaudible throughout the majority of the Reading set, and Peters' drums seem to fade in and out.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Howell