Saturday, May 21, 2016
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: MUDCRUTCH - 2
Hard to pinpoint a big difference now between Mudcrutch and The Heartbreakers, except a couple of different players, and a bit more of a democracy in the former. Tom Petty steps back a little in Mudcrutch, allowing each other member to write and sing one of their own numbers on the album. Also, things are a little more relaxed as well, with the band having nothing to prove except they still like doing what they set out to do back in the early '70s.
With that freedom understood, the group is free to make your basic rock album, and no worries about radio, hype, etc. Of course, that's exactly what was needed, especially for Heartbreakers Petty, Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, now able to repeat the old stuff rather than break new ground or come up with a different kind of hit. Petty does a acoustic track, I Forgive It All, in a folk style so simple and nice, he'd be accused of coasting on his own albums, but here it's your basic, strong number. Beautiful Blue is a classic Petty pop number, and would have fit on Full Moon Fever, an instant favourite. Hope is all 60s garage guitar and organ, which is just what you want.
While Petty dominates the album, as well he should, the others chime in with solid works. Drummer Randall Marsh offers up a cool power pop number, Beautiful World, with a bit of new wave influence. Tom Leadon brings the country, always his job in the group, with The Other Side of the Mountain. Benmont Tench gets quirky with Welcome To Hell, actually a great lyric worthy of Petty himself. Campbell's Victim Of Circumstance rocks the hardest, some 50s moments and more guitar. None of others are the best vocalists, but having Tom around for back-up gives it a suitable boost. If Petty said this was his band from now on, I'd have no problem with that.