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4.5 out of 5 stars15
4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2000
This was one of the first Husker Du albums I bought. In my opinion, it's the best. It captures the band as they were moving from the hardcore speed of their "early records" (just two years' previous) towards the more melodic "poppier" albums to follow.
Opening pretty much as we'd come to expect - loud, fast and shouty - "New Day Rising" is an excellent (and prophetic, in term's of Mould's career) statement of intent. The production is pretty thin, the razor-sharp guitar sound, if anything, adding to the tension. They were re-writing the rules on pop, hardcore and punk in one fell swoop.
Songs like "...Heaven Hill", "I Apologise" and "If I Told You" prove that melody and dissonance can live happily ever after and "Folklore" is probably as political as the Huskers got at that point - the band always seemed to write personal songs. "Celebrated Summer" is a case in point and one of the best songs Husker Du recorded. It's brilliantly written and played. You get that sense of being a teenager again... Amazon should get an excerpt on its site - you really have to listen to it.
Grant Hart's wicked sense of humour makes appearances on "...Warfare" and "...UFOs" - again, two stand-out songs in an impressive back catalogue. The songs even sit well with Mould's tortured "Perfect Example" and "59 Times The Pain", which show that, for all the loud bravado, they're vulnerable too. "Powerline" is a good track, even though I can't fathom what the song is ABOUT... The last three songs are pretty much Husker Du wig-outs in the style of their previous opus "Zen Arcade" and round off the album in a suitably off-beat manner.
Three years and three albums later (the last two on Warners, the final one a double), it was all over for the band, undone by drink, drugs and suicide. Mould came back with solo releases and the moumental band Sugar. Hart formed Nova Mob and quickly became irrelevant. Bassist Greg Norton became a chef. Hmmm... However, the band's legacy will remain in the namechecks of cool alt-rock bands and more importantly, in recordings like this. Everyone with an interest in great songs needs to hear this album.
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on 17 March 2003
After the double-album opus that was Zen Arcade, Minneapolis trio Husker Du released 2 entirely seperate albums in 1985. This stands not only as their best, but also the best album of their careers - no wonder famous fan Dave Grohl namechecked the album on Times Like These.
The sound is essentially punk, very rough-and-ready in the production style, and with lots of angers and frustrations vented, but, even in their relatively young days, strong melodic pop sensibilities were also visible - the influence on groups from Nirvana to Ash is clear.
Celebrated Summer and I Apologise, both penned by Bob Mould, are perhaps the best of all, the latter exerting a great shuffling chorus amidst all the anguish, seemingly talking of a relationship indiscretion, while the former pounds through its verses and chorus before a mellowed bridge - curiously, metallers Anthrax once covered this.
Among the other highlights include If I Told You, 59 Times the Pain and Terms Of Pyschic Warface, the latter perhaps their most radio-friendly track up to this point, but there's nary a duff track here, except perhaps the rather throwaway one-line opener. A classic album, then, the influence of which is still being heard today.
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Husker Du's career was one that seemed rapid, like The Smiths they packed a lot of material into just a few years. Husker Du released several classic albums - 'Zen Arcade', 'Flip Your Wig', 'Warehouse (Songs & Stories)','Candy Apple Grey' - all of which could qualify as my favourite or a "classic." But 'New Day Rising' was undoubtedly a peak, coming shortly on the heels of double-album 'Zen Arcade' & shortly followed by 'Flip Your Wig'. Recorded in July 1984, 'New Day Rising' built on the transitionary moves apparent on 'Zen'- away from the hardcore-movement Husker Du were associated with. 'New Day Rising' like The Feelies' 'The Good Earth' & The Replacements' 'Let It Be' is namechecked in the introduction to Rick Moody's fantastic U.S. teen-angst novel 'Garden State' - which demonstrates it has a cultural status.
Songwriters Grant Hart and Bob Mould were getting better & better at their jobs - 'New Day Rising' is literally packed with great songs: 'Celebrated Summer', 'The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill', 'Terms of Psychic Warfare', the wild-thrash of the opening title-track and the Ramonesesque 'Books About UFOs. There are some out and out rock songs Replacements-style - 'I Apologize', 'I Don't Know What You're Talking About' & the aforementioned 'Celebrated Summer.' This is countered by their more experimental side - the closing sequence of 'How to Skin a Cat', 'Whatcha Drinkin' & 'Plans I Make' explore avant-garde Pere Ubu-style music & return briefly to the thrash of 'Punch Drunk' & 'M.I.C.' & attentive listeners will note that 'Powerline', which I've always felt is not unlike Pere Ubu colliding with early-Cure (there's a superb version of this on 'The Living End')- listening to it now you can see elements of what would become math-rock or lo-fi, and I also think that its similar to what Interpol are doing these days...
'New Day Rising' was a brilliant peak, and one of the undoubted highlights of the 1980s alongside 'Evol', 'Hallowed Ground', 'Dial M for...', 'Hallowed Ground', 'Let It Be', 'Rock for Light', 'Up On the Sun' & a myriad of other joys. A reminder of the fertile indie-scene in the U.S. from the late-1970s to the time when 'Punk Rock broke' with Nirvana and the grunge-term was bandied about (Nirvana are obviously indebted, as are Foo Fighters, The Pixies & probably just about everyone else!). Husker Du would become even more melodic and make 'Flip Your Wig' (which is more their 'Revolver' in my opinion!) the following year, as well as doing key cover-versions of 'Eight Miles High' & 'Ticket to Ride.' A peak from that brilliant career...
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on 4 August 2010
In my opinion Husker Du are most important American rock band since the Velvet Underground and certainly one of the most influential bands of all time. Their music was not always easy to get into and they never really sold many records even after they split in 1987, but they still pretty much shaped much of the alternative rock scene that was to follow both in the UK and America. 'New Day Rising' is arguably their best album. Released in 1985 it's way ahead of its time in terms of sound, attitude and lyrics and it's hard to believe that I first heard it over twenty years ago now as a teenager and it still blows me away evey time I listen to it.

Of course Husker Du are often labelled as a Punk or Hardcore band, and certainly if that's your thing then this album will not disappoint. Bob Moulds guitar sound is razor sharp, menacing and relentless, covering everything in a wash of sonic buzzsaw distortion. Hart's drums are almost jazz like, free flowing and driving the songs forward with a breathless speed and bassist Greg Norton just glues the whole thing together with subtle melodic hooks - it's an incredible sound of a band at the top of their game. Listen a little harder however and the album will start to reward you with some wonderful pop melodies and remarkable poignent lyrics which set this band apart from all their peers. Highlights for me include Mould's 'Celebrated Summer' and 'I Apoligize' and Hart's 'Books About UFO's'. Other bands would take the Husker's blend of pop and punk rock to much greater commercial heights, but none of them would ever sound as vital or original as this. Five Stars.
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on 21 April 2013
As many good tunes as Hard Day's Night, as thunderous as Overkill, fast as fast can be, louder than the binman on hangover day. And the cover has dogs at the seaside. What more do you need? Buy it. Love it.
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on 23 March 2016
Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl might have namechecked it on the 2003 single ‘Times Like These’, but this short-lived, and badly-dressed, Minneapolis trio’s 1985 album divides opinion. Some regard this remarkably quick follow-up to their ambitious, but overreaching, double LP Zen Arcade as their finest record. Others, however, believe it is overrated, and disdain its trebly production, and waves of noise, that make it difficult to pick out the melodies.

Strangely enough, Bob Mould – the tortured-looking soul who fronted the hardcore punk group - appears to side with the latter. In a wide-ranging interview 6 page interview with Mojo [270, May 2016] he confessed that, “People love New Day Rising, and I can’t…It sounds like somebody’s power-washing an aluminum barn with a pressure hose!”. However, I find the former view is closer to the mark. The first side’s blend of 1960s harmonies with 1980s discord is almost uniformly excellent, with the repetitive title track and the self-explanatory ‘I Apologize’ standouts, and the second side features a couple of tracks that are just as good (the equally tortured drummer Grant Hart’s comparatively jaunty-sounding ‘Books About UFOs’ and ‘Terms Of Psychic Warfare’).
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VINE VOICEon 6 February 2004
If ever you wanted to pick up an era defining album, then this is it.
It's literally shattering. It took up where Zen Arcade left off and simply soared. The speed of the tracks was slightly slower, but the intensity of the flow never ceases.
Guitars sound like they're made of shattering glass and the singing of Bob Mould and Grant Hart seem so charged with emotion that you suspect that at the end of the brief sessions that created this epic, that they must have needed time in mental rehab.
If there was ever an album that sets pulses racing better than this, then I have yet to hear it.
To me this is as era defining as Nevermind, in fact, I would go as far as to say it's even more important.
They're a band that had few peers during their peak. I would suggest this was their zenith.
Dive in and see for yourself, I guarantee satisfaction.
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on 21 May 2016
Visceral, tuneful, badly produced,magnificent. A remastered version would be welcome.
Saw these fellas on the Candy Apple Grey tour and they were awesome
Saw Bob on his latest tour and he's still rocking and raging, as good as ever.God bless him.
After all these years I just spotted the similarity with the cover of The Replacements' wonderful All Shook Down album.
How did I miss that?
Amazing that the three coolest acts of the eighties all came from Minneapolis
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on 21 July 2005
bob mould can claim to have writtin many classic albums with husker du and sugar but none as phenomenal as this one. it truelly changed music having a huge influence on almost all good punk and underground that came after it. this album also contains what i believe to be the greatest song ever, the ultumit punk rock epic "celebrate summer" which entwines electric and acoustic masterfully. other highlights include "if i told you", "i apologize", "fokelore", "59 times the pain", and "the girl who lives on heaven hill". this is a must buy album so please do so and if you love this as i do follow it up with "zen arcade" the excellent coceptual double album and "flip your wig" which is packed with pop gems.
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on 14 December 2009
Slightly slower than most of their previous albums (which came thick and fast), and with a touch more production. Celebrated Summer is the standout for me, one of my favourite tracks ever. A crossover between the wigouts that preceded and the slightly more melodic stuff later. Hart was better on Flip Your Wig, but he and Mould never worked as well together. If you are into punk, indie, grunge, whatever, then this is a must have.
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