Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Return of Mudcrutch!

Mudcrutch doesn't sound like a rock group as much as a Rob Zombie horror film. In reality, Mudcrutch is the name of Tom Petty's new band. Well, not so new. Mudcrutch was Petty's first band in the early 70's before the days of The Heartbreakers. Apparently they were quite popular locally during their time together. They got signed to a label and began recording an album in L.A. but it was never released. Petty then broke up the band to start The Heartbreakers bringing only guitarist Mike Campbell with him. Fast-forward 30+ years later......

After Petty finished interviews for the recent "Running Down a Dream" documentary, he decided to call up the old Mudcrutch guys to get the band back together; much to their total surprise. Thus....the return of Mudcrutch. After a few spins through the disc, I admit I was hoping for a more different sound then Petty usually delivers with The Heartbreakers. After all, he plays no guitar on the disc but bass instead. In reality, it sounds like a very good but rushed Heartbreakers disc. That isn't surprising seeing how the current configuration of Mudcrutch features not only Campbell on guitar but also current Heartbreaker keyboardist Benmont Tench on keyboards. There are a couple of choice covers (Gram Parsons-Six Days on the Road & The Byrds-Lover of the Bayou) and Mudcrutch at least sounds like Petty breaking out of his comfort zone a bit. The highlight of the disc is the 9 minute, languid guitar epic called "Crystal River". Not only is it the longest song in Petty's cannon, but it's also one of the prettiest. Mudcrutch is a must for any Petty fan, and I guarantee this will sound great cranking out of my speakers this summer. Let's hope Mudcrutch isn't just a one-off thing for Petty, but somewhere he feels he can go to break out of the Heartbreakers formula a bit.

You can hear two of the songs in my Electronic Mixtape posted below and here are a couple of vids to enjoy as well.

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