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Old Men’s Desire For War, Seen By Mudhoney, The Founders Of Grunge

Songs against war have been around since mankind started fighting wars. Throughout the 20th century, pacifism became a viable political ideology, becoming an essential part of popular culture. Mudhoney looks at war from a different perspective in this week's "Lost Tracks."
By subcomtom

 

In the Sixties, the Vietnam war had considerable influence on rock music; motivating artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and many others, to raise their voices in their desire to see the end of the war in Vietnam.

The legacy of Vietnam carried over into the Eighties with metal, and hard rock acts like Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and Metallica, creating great anti-war songs.

In the Nineties, Buddy Lackey suggested to Start a War to increase TV quotes. And in the mid-00s, System of the Down was asking why they only send the poor to fight in B.Y.O.B.

While sometimes conflict creates art and beauty like Neil Young’s Love and War, this week’s featured “Lost Tracks” is a Mudhoney song that stands out by tackling the issue of war differently; suggesting that wars are only started by dirty old men to get themselves some hanky-panky action.

‘Hard-On For War’ was written by Seattle’s Grunge kingpins, Mudhoney, around the time of the US invasion of Iraq.

An early version of the song was first released on the Gimme Skelter compilation album in 2003, which also featured songs of various other popular alternative acts of the time, like Primal Scream, Weezer, and Le Tigre.

A “Lost Tracks” Stoner Rock riff you have to hear.

 

 

The album jacket for the Mudhoney "Under A Billion Suns" LP.

Mudhoney “Under A Billion Suns” Album Jacket

 

Hank Williams III takes country music into metal territory in “Lost Tracks.”

 

In 2006, ‘Hard-On For War was released in its final version on the Mudhoney LP, Under A Billion Suns, the group’s seventh studio album.

Mudhoney was named after a Russ Meyer movie and rose from the ashes of the highly influential proto-Grunge band Green River in the late Eighties.

Their debut EP, Superfuzz Bigmuff, together with their first single, ‘Touch Me, I am Sick,’ was a considerable influence on many Grunge bands to come, including Nirvana.

 

 

Mark Arm, the lead singer/rhythm guitarist of Mudhoney, one of the most influential early grunge bands.

Mudhoney Lead Singer/Rhythm Guitarist Mark Arm

 

 

Throughout their career, Mudhoney was never afraid to experiment with different styles and approaches to guitar rock, even including horn sections on their brilliant Under A Billion Suns album.

‘Hard-On For War’ is the 6th song on the album, and the first lines, “Can you hear the little girls asking – Daddy where have all the little boys gone?” builds up curiosity right away, before the lyrics continue describing a scene in which only old men are left trying to get laid, while all the young men have gone to fight, and die in war.

Lucifer’s Friend Rides the Sky in “Lost Tracks.

 

 

 

 

Can you hear the little girls asking
Daddy where have all the little boys gone
The little girls, they ask me
Daddy where have all the little boys gone

They don’t tease us in classroom
They don’t meet us at the mall

The little boys are fighting
They have left us all behind
The little boys are dying
To preserve our way of life
It’s our patriotic duty
To make sweet love tonight

See these lovely lonesome ladies
They don’t ignore me anymore
All these lonely lovely ladies
Keep on knockin’ on my door
I’m the only game in town
And it’s so easy to score

Now I know why dirty old men are always pushin’ for war
Now I know why dirty old men are always pushin’ for war
I’ve become a dirty old man with a hard-on for war

 

 

The eerie lyrics create an almost post-apocalyptic atmosphere, which is amplified by the raw and fuzzed out wall of screaming guitars, somehow reminding me of a Mad Max movie scene.

Hard-On For War is a fine example of Mudhoney’s more recent releases, and one of the best anti-war songs from the George W. Bush era.

It is interesting to note that anti-war songs have declined in popularity over the last few decades, as humanity is in the midst of its most peaceful era in all of recorded history. Meanwhile, songs advocating for social change have risen in popularity.

It’s okay with me if we don’t see a rise in the popularity of anti-war protest songs in the future, although the world we live in is still mostly run by dirty old men, trying to get some nookie.

Check out the other songs mentioned in this article, and you can find the archive of other “Lost Tracks” stories below.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2018 rockingthenet.com

RTN’s “Lost Tracks” is a weekly feature of Rock’s hidden gems and little-known bands. Check out the “Lost Tracks” archive below.

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The Lost Tracks Archive

Woods Of Ypres Takes Us On A Spiritual Journey In “Lost Tracks”

 

An Obscure Rolling Stones Song Mick Jagger Wrote In Prison

 

Aphrodite’s Child: Two Unexpected Greek Titans Of Progressive Rock

 

Beasts Of Bourbon Redefined Guitar-Based Rock’N’Roll

 

Hank Williams III: Generation Spanning Sadness, Depression, and Solitude

 

Wet Pussycat And The Unreleased Riff That Describes Stoner Rock

 

Lucifer’s Friend Makes Their Mark In “Lost Tracks” With Ride The Sky