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Mudhoney w/ Pissed Jeans, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Sat. May 11th, 2013 Reviewed

Mudhoney photo- Liz Ross

Having never been to the Music Hall of Williamsburg, I didn’t know what to expect for sound or atmosphere and never having been a fan of the “Seattle sound”, I went with a completely open mind. Pissed Jeans, who hail from Allentown, Pa., were the opening act – something of a pleasant surprise throwback. I wouldn’t call them “hardcore” in the way I would about early Husker Du or Circle Jerks – more like The Minutemen, as the few snatches of melody and structure I could hear (the sound during their set was not very good – it was a cacophonous din) seemed to suggest herky-jerky funk grooves in that Mike Watt/George Hurley-style of rhythm. Nonetheless, they were entertaining, intense and engaging with the audience – at one point, vocalist Matt Kosloff (I think that’s his name) said to someone in the audience “pay attention HERE – I’M the lead singer”. He also delivered a very funny spoof/”tribute” to Green Day (“yeah, these records never sound dated”). Had the sound been better, I would have liked them even more, but for certain, Pissed Jeans were a great way to begin the night.

The venerable Seattle band came out, tight and fast – an immediate sonic blitz which started with a triad of “Slipping Away” into “I Like It Small” and then “You Got It” without stopping for a breath. Very little stage banter – just music – although for the few moments when Mark Arm spoke, it was with humor. The rhythm section of Dan Peters (drums) and Guy Maddison (bass, replacing Matt Lukin) were solid, deep and locked as Steve Turner’s leads played off Mark Arm’s rhythm/lead splits. Amongst the higher points of the set, which was not stingy (17 songs and 5 encore numbers): “Suck You Dry”, “Sweet Young Thing (Ain’t Sweet No More)” (a personal favorite), “I’m Now”, “Good Enough” and the obligatory reading of “Touch Me, I’m Sick”, which had the crowd bouncing in unison and pounding the floor like there was no tomorrow. The final number of the encore, “Fix Me”, an old Black Flag item was a nice way to end a machine-gun guitar attack.

Enjoyable, loud, fast and raw – as it should be.

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