Mudhoney

Piece of Cake

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By 1992, grunge was becoming rock's new Flavor of the Month, and Mudhoney, being the naturally contrary types that they were, seemed to be getting a bit bored with it; besides, after several years of roadwork, the band had gained enough speed and precision to allow the garage rock and old-school punk flavors to rise to the surface of their aural cocktail (or, more appropriately, their aural Trash Can Punch). Piece of Cake was the band's major-label debut, but you wouldn't have guessed that by listening to it; Conrad Uno's production is as no-frills as ever, and the short bursts of goofy noise and techno parodies that punctuate the album make it clear Mudhoney were taking themselves (and their career) no more seriously than they ever had. If those looking for the big shaggy sloppiness of "Touch Me I'm Sick" or "You Got It" might feel a bit let down by Piece of Cake, there's a snot-nosed fury to "No End in Sight" and "Suck You Dry" that makes it clear these guys were always a punk band at heart (albeit a punk band who really liked Blue Cheer), and if you're looking for heaviness, "Ritzville" and "I'm Spun" will convince you they hadn't forgotten how to drop that D tuning. Faster and fiercer than ever, but no less fuzzy or messed-up, Piece of Cake proved Mudhoney's palate was a few shades broader than some folks might have expected, but without turning their backs on the glorious ugliness that was always their stock-in-trade.

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