Music Monday with PLC is a weekly feature written by my husband, Pat.
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Bob Mould: Silver Age
Back in high school, a couple of the cool teachers started a record club. Looking back, it was probably just an ingenious way to tap into school money to buy new albums, but it was set up so all the members would sign out albums like you would books at a library. A very cool library. I remember going up there one day and the teacher handing me Hüsker Dü’s New Day Rising - “Check this one out,” he said. So I brought it home and slipped on my headphones. The buzz saw guitar sound, clicky drums and overall cacophony. I just didn’t get it. I took the album off and put on Shabooh Shoobah instead.
Fast forward to college when I decided to give New Day Rising another listen. Maybe it was my new “maturity”, the “worldliness” of a college man, or maybe.... All of a sudden it all clicked. Like abstract art, it was all in the emotion. Also, buried beneath the volume and noise were catchy pop songs. Hüsker Dü remains one of my all time favorites to this day.
Who put the quarter in Bob Mould, because he is absolutely tearing it up like a man on mission to rock on his new album Silver Age (2012, Merge Records). Recorded as a power trio, this album pounds through a tight 10 songs, all in 3 to 4 minute bursts of guitar-driven glory. Maybe it was that time spent in Dave Grohl’s garage, but Bob Mould is back to remind us just why he is still one of the great ones. And the lyrics are some of his best ever. On the opening track “Star Machine” he lays down one of the best takes on the machina de fame since fellow Minneapolitan Paul Westerberg’s “World Class Fad”. Check this one out -
Just as striking as the album is the great picture of Bob Mould in the CD/digital booklet. After listening to his music all these years, given the passion with which he is laying it down now, it is kind of startling to see Mould wearing the greying beard and age lines. Very Townshendesque. Passion is ageless - Mould’s full throttle stance doesn’t come from a bratty punk or a bitter old man, rather he is a true veteran who paid his dues and was on the front battle lines of what is now the “alternative” music genre. It is kind of funny to listen to this album in the context of Green Day’s Billie Joe meltdown. One can just imagine Mr. Mould yelling at the mascara-faced Armstrong about how he has been here since the early 80’s and then tearing into “The Descent” to show him how it is done -
Bob Mould just put out a truly great rock record. So what are you waiting for, a formal invitation. The Silver Age is now.
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- last time - David Bryne & St. Vincent
- last month - The List
- last season - Bee Gees
- full archive of Music Monday with PLC - HERE