Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge


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Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge Review

by Mark Deming

In mid-1991, grunge was poised to make its entrance into the spotlight of global popular culture as Nirvana's Nevermind was being readied for release. But Mudhoney didn't know that as they began work on their second album, and they were starting to tire of the monolithic hard rock/metal side of their sound. Taking a detour back into the garage rock and early punk influences that meant as much to them as Blue Cheer, they booked time in Conrad Uno's cozy eight-track recording facility Egg Studio, and soon emerged with Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, a proudly stripped-down and wiry effort that appeared two months before Nevermind. If 1989's Mudhoney seemed a bit short of inspiration as the band figured out where to go after the Superfuzz Bigmuff EP, EGBDF was leaner, meaner, and a great deal more enthusiastic, and "Let It Slide," "Into the Drink," and "Who You Drivin' Now" took the noisy report of "Touch Me, I'm Sick" and gave it a good bit more snarl and rattle, which worked strongly in their favor. EGBDF also sounded like Mudhoney were having more fun than on their first long-player; the lo-fi organ accents fit this music just right, Mark Arm's vocal howlings are gleeful snottiness personified, Steve Turner's gloriously dirty guitar solos were paeans of scuzziness from deep inside the soul, and Matt Lukin and Dan Peters were the perfect rhythm section for this music. The songwriting was also considerably stronger than on their previous LP, and just as the rockers at once stomped harder and seemed lighter on their feet, slower tunes like "Broken Hands" and "Check Out Time" dug deeper into their bluesy side and revealed how strong their ominous alter ego could be. Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge was Mudhoney's declaration that they didn't need grunge to survive, and if their timing proved to be a bit off, their musical instincts were faultless, and it's one of their very best albums.

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