In N’ Out Of Grace – Mudhoney

Frantic metal inspired riffs buzz around inside the clatter of the song as Mark Arm sings like he’s straining to do a poo. 1988 and Mudhoney had already set the template for grunge. Steve Turner on guitar, Matt Lukin on bass and Dan Peters on drums were making monolithic noise structures that transcended their musical ability. In N’ Out Of Grace stood tall and dark based on it’s energy and distortion.

“Oh God how I love to hate” Mark screams after a two minute drum solo in the middle of a five minute song. Grunge wouldn’t tolerate such tropes in 2-3 years time. This kind of behaviour is Art Rock colouring outside of the lines. It’s messy but all sounds intentionally so.

Once the set closer on the bands now legendary EP Superfuzz Bigmuff. The song has been recast on subsequent CD releases. Now mixed in with early singles and cover versions In N’ Out is perhaps overshadowed by the inclusion of Mudhoney anthem Touch Me I’m Sick on the latter expanded editions. What started as a 22 minute EP of five scuzzy fuzzy tracks is now available as a 32 track double disc compendium of early pre-Cobain artefacts.

As if that weren’t pioneering enough for the 90’s to take influence from… The ‘We want to be free to do what we want to do’ sample of Peter Fonda in biker movie The Wild Angels is synonymous with Primal Scream’s Indie Dance Anthem™ Loaded. Mudhoney used it here two years before Bobby G and his Scottish groove merchants put out Screamadelica.

Amongst all this extra stuff In And Out Of Grace sounds like a bonkers, no holds barred composition of pure fury (as do many of the other songs on those CD’s). Take it back to it’s original context and it seems to grow in muscular strength and in portent.


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