feedtime & Mudhoney bring ear-ringing bliss to the Tractor

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feedtime promo photo by Caroline Birkett

“You pay your respect to the stuff that got you going and you respect that stuff that keeps you going.”

That quote, lifted from Sub Pop’s bio of Aussie trio feedtime, just about sums up the double bill of down-and-dirty rock that was Mudhoney and feedtime at the Tractor Tavern.

The current chapter of the feedtime story loosely goes that Mark Arm became a fan of feedtime back in the 80s. Decades later in his position as Sub Pop’s warehouse manager Arm convinced the Sub Pop brass to reissue some of feedtime’s material which was collected and released earlier this year as the compilation The Aberrant Years.

feedtime’s set (the band’s name is all lowercase) was a jolt of straight-forward heavy and loud garage rock with an emphasis on a sludgy, fuzzy low-end sound. It wasn’t anything special but it really didn’t need to be. It was a solid performance by guys in their 50s who have been around the block and were simply playing music to play music, which was a very refreshing sight.  The threesome plowed through an hour of music smiling all the while with the biggest smiles coming when Arm joined the band for its final song, a song that appropriately ended in a crescendo of loud, searing feedback and heavy, fuzzy guitars.

It was pretty obvious the men of feedtime were enjoying their time on stage together and were genuinely having fun instead of being on some nostalgia reunion trip. They were playing together because they wanted to, not to cash in on recent popularity or newfound name recognition due to Mark Arm’s seal of approval or the added cache of cool that comes with being a Sub Pop band.

When Mudhoney took the stage around 11:00 the veteran local band showed no signs of age. If you closed your eyes or squinted at the stage you might have mistaken it for 1992 instead of 2012 since the group’s set featured plenty of material from the seminal Superfuzz Bigmuff. Arm, who recently turned 50, voice was a throaty and distinguishable as ever with his unmistakable screams, grunts and wails filled the room.

Arm patrolled the stage as well as he did back in  the day minus a few of his more limber showman-like moves and guitarist Steve Turner’s guitar mastery is still in check after all these years.  Aside from the expected energy, distorted guitars and all around rock assault by Mudhoney the band threw in a bit of a surprise with the new, unreleased song “Chardonnay” making it into the setlist, showing that there’s still plenty of loud life left in the group of unsung Seattle heroes. Both Mudhoney’s and feedtime’s sets were filled with loud guitars, screaming singers and sweaty, moshing middle-aged men during a night that proved Sub Pop hasn’t lost its hard-rock edge.

 

Mudhoney's setlist from The Tractor via @_mudhoney

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 14 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.