Tuesday 27 October 2020

Bob Mould - Blue Hearts

 After the demise of Husker Du, Bob Mould released a couple of solo albums in a similar style and, erm, mould.

He then formed Sugar whose debut album - 'Copper Blue' - took Husker Du's melodic moments and added some shine.  'Copper Blue'  is, to my ears, a better album than Nirvana's 'Nevermind' yet Sugar remained a peg below their Grunge counterparts in a voracious genre chasing media.
Thought For The Day: Is Bob Mould to Grunge what Paul Weller is to Britpop?

Bob Mould's solo career continued releasing a number a critically acclaimed, but largely commercially ignored albums.

Last years 'Sunshine Rock' seemed to be showing Bob in a more optimistic light - there were genuine moments of lightness and happiness there.
His current release - and maybe it is a reflection of the times - is as simmering and angry as ever.

The opening track is titled "Heart On My Sleeve" and that is exactly what he does, and he's not the happiest bunny in the hutch.  Although don't be fooled by the acoustic Neil Young-esque nature of the track - there is a definite undercurrent going on in the lyric.  It sounds like it's about to explode into a full on angry thrash.  It doesn't, but track 2 ("Next Generation") does just that from the first second.  "American Crisis" and "Fireball" keep the speed up and are not a million miles from his best work with Husker Du and Sugar.
And the anger and thrashing keep coming rarely stopping for breath.  Bob's just passed 60 but you wouldn't believe it with the energy flying out of your speakers here.

Some of the tracks may be painting a dark picture ("Forecast Of Rain") but amongst the grooves of this record, there just feels a glimmer of hope that things can get better.The closing of final track "The Ocean" is a fading trail of distortion - almost like an unfinished end to the frustration, desperation and disappointment laid out before.

Let the distortion end, give it a minute, and play the whole thing again.

Stand-out track?
There are times when I believe that Husker Du's "Sorry Somehow" may be one of the greatest songs ever written.  Well, in the shape of "Siberian Butterfly" Bob's created another superb ear-worm

Siberian Butterfly

1 comment:

  1. Great review. Keep meaning to catch up with this album. I loved Sunshine Rock and my right ear is still paying for being too near the front at Manchester Academy 2 .