Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bob Mould: "Silver Age" (album review)

For someone who claimed to be putting on his 'last dog and pony show' over fifteen years ago, Bob Mould is still cranking out hard-driving power pop like nobody's business.  The legend's newest entry is Silver Age, the studio album set to hit the streets on September 4th.

The staple of Mould's work is the blistering guitars and perilously sharp hooks.  It's a style he began with Hüsker Dü and perfected with his band Sugar.



The lead single "The Descent" is vintage Mould.  The guitar work, loud and boisterous as ever, has a distinct melody of its own.  That really gives the listener several levels to delve into, depending on their desire and mood.

The bottom end is incredibly heavy and forceful on "Star Machine".  While not unusual for his live shows, it's not often Mould captures this on record.  "Angels Rearrange" provides a similar no-nonsense thump.

Everything is flying at you on "Briefest Moment".  The flurry of guitars and crashing of cymbals puts you right in the middle of Mould's sonic hurricane, where his intimate lyrics spin you from every direction.  "Keep Believing" comes closest to recreating the magic of Hüsker Dü's apex.

Things gets slowed down for "Stream of Hercules".  The song is no less intense than its uptempo siblings, shaped in the model of long-standing favorites like "Slick" and "The Slim".

Mould may not be breaking much new ground on his album's nowadays, but he is still honing his craft.  His music is as vital as ever, and fans will (and should) continue to lap it up.  Don't forget to bring your earplugs.

Best tracks: "The Descent", "Keep Believing"

Track listing for Silver Age:
  • Star Machine
  • Silver Age
  • The Descent
  • Briefest Moment
  • Stream of Hercules
  • Fugue Statue
  • Round City Square
  • Angels Rearrange
  • Keep Believing
  • First Time Joy
7.5/10

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