October 31, 2018 | by Jocelyn Hoppa
The other night, I was driving back from Lambertville, NJ and listening to the very cool independent radio station WPRB 103.3 out of Princeton. They were playing "spooky" songs, and in the mix was a track I thought sounded like Nick Cave but it was no Nick Cave song I'd ever heard. After a few seconds, it was undoubtedly Mark Arm.
"Night and Fog" off of the Mudhoney's recent release Digital Garbage is a song that stands apart from the rest, showcasing another side of Mark Arm's vocal capabilities (which should be shredded at this point, but are not).
The song opens up with the lyrics, "Here they come, in the dead of the night / Here they come, night and fog / Are they coming for you?" On an album full of socio-political musings, this bleak track is shrouded in a kind of haunting sure. I was caught up in the moment in my car, but this is no Halloween song. It's far more grim than that.
Arm stated in an interview with KEXP that "Night and Fog" is "basically about rounding people up and disappearing them." I think we can all read between those lines considering today's climate (for further context, Night and Fog is also a 1956 short French documentary titled after the notorious Nacht und Nebel — German for "Night and Fog" — program of abductions and disappearances decreed by the Nazis on December 7, 1941).
Chilling, for sure, but that's the type of intelligence and education we can still unreservedly expect from Mudhoney.
Also thanks WPRB, this was a worthwhile rabbit hole to fall down.