If Bob Mould never played another note after the drugs-and-ego implosion of Husker Du as the ‘80s petered out, he’d still be a key – if sometimes contradictory – artist. Namechecked equally by the grunge, hardcore and wider alternative music worlds, his music came close to its due with the perfect storm of Sugar’s Copper Blue, before he then stepped away again – to mostly make acoustic music, which retained his energy and often cauterising honesty. A stunning autobiography, See A Little Light, had him bluntly deal with the demons of his addictions, along with his sexual confusion and eventual acceptance. A celebratory concert of the man and his work gave him a backing band of Dave Grohl and Ryan Adams among others.
All that essentially clears the slate for this. Silver Age rages and growls, sneers and weeps, like his best work. His guitar howl, accurately self-described as “the sound of someone starting up a chainsaw in preparation for clearing a parcel of overgrown land,” spills out, while his gravel-flecked pleas lean into the maelstrom.
And he can still spot the bullshit. Star Machine swipes at choosing celebrity over art. Feel free to put several suspects in that frame. Elsewhere he still identifies as a ‘small town kid’, but equally knows to ‘leave the children’s games behind.’ He then flips that – the attendant clip to the muscled swirl of The Descent has him as corporate drone throwing it in and heading back to the forest. But the best philosophy, advice and truth in title is probably Keep Believing. And while he keeps making music from his heart and guts like this, you should.
ON theMusic TODAY
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