For what it's worth, the 'Honeys have been covering Hawkwind's "Urban Guerrilla" during encores recently, demonstrating a new application for deep space nebulae. Rebuilt for paganistic, astral travel, the grand elders of grunge take plenty of surprising detours on their one-record deal with long-lost flame Sub Pop but manage to reenter Earth's gravitational pull in one solid piece. In addition to exploring uncharted dimensions via skronking free jazz and velvet-toned vibes, they dive into unexpected brass arrangements on both "Where the Flavor Is" and the amusingly punchy "Take it Like a Man" (lyrical chestnut: "Once you realize that you're not in charge/It makes your codpiece feel a little too large.")
The album otherwise relies on gunk rawk's three-chords-for-beer formula and owes its overall sonic diversity to the use of three producers in three studios. Recording ace/odd-man-out Jack Endino even drops by for a nostalgic trip down Superfuzz/Bigmuff lane on "Inside Job," a crunchy call to arms featuring the MC5's graying white panther, Wayne Kramer. Ironic self-loathing likewise enhances "In the Winner's Circle," a tune that finds hysterical frontman Mark Arm -- seemingly happy with whatever attention his band has received over the years -- screeching on the verge of a nosebleed: "Yeah, I'm a winner/'Cause I got nothing left to lose/I got nothing/And I feel alright." It's a fitting emotional state for a band that not only predated the hype of grunge but outlived its usefulness.