One of the greatest aspects of the grunge era was the fact that record labels were so desperate to jump onto the trend that they signed a series of clearly non-commercial bands to major deals. The fact that Sonic Youth was on a major label for years is pretty staggering, as while they are a great and legendary band, they don't have a single commercial instinct in their collective body. Even better than that? The fact that Mudhoney, the sludgiest, loudest, grungiest band to come out of Seattle, inked a deal with Reprise, and on this day in 1992, they released Piece of Cake, their major label debut.
Though some of the edges are buffed a little bit, Piece of Cake is an amazingly raw album full of Mudhoney's trademark blend of fuzzy bass tones and squealing guitars, all augmented by frontman Mark Arm's passionate yelps. Some of their more metal leanings are pushed to the edges a bit, as Piece of Cake functions more as a deeply distorted punk album (albeit with a wacky techno joke right in the middle of it). It is unrelenting in its noisy jubilation, but Piece of Cake also represents some of Arm's strongest songwriting — "Blinding Sun," "No End in Sight" and "Suck You Dry" are among the liveliest melodies to ever spill out of Arm's pen.
Though Piece of Cake was more or less embraced and well-liked upon its release, it was considered a bit of a flop (especially considering they were grunge pioneers dropping an album at the height of the genre's powers). They released two more albums on the majors (1995's My Brother the Cow and 1998's Tomorrow Hit Today) before heading back to the arms of indie label Sub Pop. "Suck You Dry" ended up becoming one of the band's biggest commercial hits, peaking at number 23 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart. Its video is typical Mudhoney: Raw, funny, shambling and self-deprecating.