Hardcore, Metal, Punk, Thrash Metal

Mudhead – Create & Destroy (Review)

Release:Create & Destroy
Genre:Hardcore, Crossover Thrash
Release Date:12th of May, 2023
Released viaSelf-Released, Santa Diabla DIY

Crossover Thrash is for party and swords, right? Right! When taking a look at the current scene in the spheres of Crossover Thrash, you either end up sticking to the OG masters such as Municipal Waste, Iron Reagan and surroundings or you move towards the youngsters that are eager to take over the game at the moment. Just think of representatives such as Inhuman Nature or Lowest Creature. It’s either prepare your chain mail or your beer keg!  However, when getting deeper into the genre you might find out that there is much more taking place in between the implemented styles of Hardcore and Thrash Metal. In order to make this explicitly clear, 4-member outfit Mudhead released their full-length debut Create & Destroy that encompasses a wide range of influences both musically as well as lyrically.

Mudhead from Hamburg self-describe their sound as “Thrashing Hardcore Punk.” The history of their releases started off with their Get Mud EP from 2018. Another EP, a few single releases and a participation in a compilation later, their first full length record Create & Destroy was set to be released on the 12th of May. Yes, you read correctly, once more I’m more than late writing about this release, but I’m starting to get accustomed to me consistently being late.

Pretty true to the game, Mudhead don’t seem to have much time to lose since they instantly dive right in with the opening track “Misery.” All instruments plus vocals crash upon you from the first second on, perfectly setting up a classy Hardcore framework. On this first track, you already get a lot of aspects that put together the sound of Mudhead. The overall Punk energy that is crafted right from the beginning is immensely captivating and also pushes you right into the interest of going deeper into the album. In the beginning, classy HC guitars throw you in only to slightly add Thrashy elements and interludes later on to get you going with what is about to happen. The drums fully remain in a powerful Punk attidude, instantly pushing you to the front. On the first track alone, it is also made clear that we are not going to remain in the vocal style of well-known originators of the genre but showcase a portfolio of several different styles that are made use of depending on the sequence we’re in. The overall impression that is immediately casted underlines the band’s self-description, pointing at the fact that the Hardcore Punk energy is at the absolute forefront.

Now, as I stated in the beginning already, there is ample supply when it comes to Crossover Thrash. Nevertheless, I highly recommend not to skip this full-length. Especially because of the fact that those guys from Hamburg do not jump right into the spheres that currently find their largest peak. This sound rather seems like a harsh combination of Iron Reagan having married Trash Talk in the middle of the 80s. When going deeper into the album, it also turns out to be highly convincing that Mudhead are capable to show a strong versatility in their personal style. While the opening track “Misery” already shows a larger set of influences that are bursted out within the first minute of this record, the following tracks are the ones that generate the capability to sufficiently convince on album-length.

Especially when going into detail regarding the vocals that might be the driving force for a lot of listeners, it becomes evident that Create & Destroy convinces on a larger scale. Of course, when jumping into the album with “Misery,” you are welcomed with a very harsh vocal style that is quite prominent in the Crossover spheres. However, only a few seconds into the track, the variety broadens already with brief sequences that drive towards a more classier Punk vocal style. This finds way more space when going deeper into the album, as can be heard in the middle of “Can’t Run” when we get a very anthemic Punk vocal sound, back into thrashing Crossover. On “TNM,” vocals in the vein of Hardcore and gang shouts eventually fully capture the listener with their energy.

Obviously, if the vocals showcase such a strong amount of versatility, the instrumentation does so as well. When getting into the album, the beginning remains within the scope of classy Crossover sound, strongly reminding of Iron Reagan in my opinion. However, diving deeper towards the middle of the album, some tracks tend to push the speed button even further than others (“Intoxicated Brain”), the love towards Punk music is portrayed with “Turn it Down,” which in its entirety separates from the fast, thrashing sound of the rest of the album and serves with a good amount of variety. Tracks such as “No Job” and “Create And Destroy” then specifically serve as major examples that Mudhead are capable of writing highly memorable bangers that get you imagine experiencing this band live while listening already.

Lyrically speaking, Create & Destroy deals with your regular partying as can be heard on “Intoxicated Brain” for sure. Again, though, it is necessary to take a look at the full picture. You get your songs that will get you going while seeing live without thinking for sure. However, there are also tracks such as “Refugees” or “Patronize Me” that strongly hail to the origins of the genre – which means, that they dive a lot deeper into different political discourses while taking a stance. And apart from that, you get tracks such as “No Job” that bring in the full package.

The intro of this track alone immediately captured my attention with a broad smile. This track is loaded with energy and with its chorus repeatedly shouting “There’s no job like no job,” it combines both the capability of instantaneously throwing you into the front row of a live show getting you going and also, basically, addressing another major issue that probably bugs quite a few of the listeners. Damn, I got back to this track a damn lot times. Same goes for “Create And Destroy” – the album-titled track, which will stick get stuck in your brain with its simple yet amazing chorus. The Punk character behind these tracks seems to become quite evident.

This album was initially self-released by the band on black vinyl. This treatment alone deserves it already to find its way into your collection. However, after the vinyl release, the incredibly fine folks at Santa Diabla DIY decided to release this album on limited to 50 toxic green tape cassette. Create & Destroy was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jörg Uken at Soundlodge Recording, taking care of a fat sound that builds a good foundation for the energy conveyed on those 17 tracks.

A lot of aspects have been mentioned in order to get into how much I liked this release. However, it is necessary to highlight once more that, all in all, it certainly is the strong energy with which this music is delivered that convinces in the bigger picture. The versatility both of vocals and instrumentation is upheld on the entire record and brought across with a massively pissed off straight-to-your-face Punk attitude that immediately has you look for upcoming Mudhead shows in order to experience this momentum live. Be prepared to get fully wasted with this Crossover Thrash blaster! 

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