Friday, 20 July 2018
Mudcrutch - Mudcrutch (2008)
Released April 2008
Recorded at The Clubhouse, Los Angeles
Mudcrutch were the group that Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers used to be before they changed their name and made it big. They existed from 1970-1975. In 2007, They decided to record some of their old material and release it under the old band’s name. Mighty impressive it was too.
“Shady Grove” uses the tune from Fairport Convention’s “Matty Groves” (or rather Fairport used this traditional folk air) and is a rumbustious country/folk rocker. Shared vocals, excellent country guitar and some pounding drums make for a great opener. It is far more “Travelling Wilburys” than “Heartbreakers”. More typical of Petty is “Scare Easy”, a mid-tempo, powerful and bassy rocker with a great hook. Some great Springsteenesque guitar in the middle. “Orphan Of The Storm” is an Eagles-like country rock ballad with another addictive refrain. Lyrically, it is a rather depressing song about drug use. “Six Days On The Road” is a lively, riffy slice of Southern rock in a Lynryrd Skynyrd style. Great stuff. Pure barroom rock. “Crystal River” has some late sixties Byrds-style guitar and is a slow-paced bluesy ballad. Some excellent drums, guitar, bass and piano in the middle section and continuing to the extended finish. Brilliant. Check out that sumptuous bass. Heavenly.
“Oh Maria” is a tender, folky love song. “This Is A Good Street” is a punchy, mid-paced solid grinding rocker. “The Wrong Thing To Do” is a bluesy, swampy rocker with that lazy hot day in the South atmosphere. “Queen Of The Go-Go Girls” is a sad country slowie, with typical lyrics about a good-time bar girl. It has some impressive steel guitar passages, as you would expect. “June Apple” is an instrumental which continues the country fun. Lively, jiggy and upbeat. “Lover Of The Bayou” kicks off powerfully, like Neil Young & Crazy Horse. It is another swamp rock-ish one, with a trademark Petty vocal. Killer guitar on it too. This really is an excellent rock album.
“Topanga Cowgirl” has an addictive guitar riff and another pounding beat. “Bootleg Flyer” virtually replicates the intro to the iconic “American Girl” at the beginning but morphs into a different song, but a great rock song all the same. The quality doesn’t let up. Some serious rockin’ guitar on this one. “House Of Stone” ends the album off with a mournful, typical country rock slow number. Some touches of Bruce Springsteen on this in places.
This really is an impressive, enjoyable album. Great sound quality on it throughout the recording, as well.