on 24 October 2012
Right, Bob Mould is an icon for me so with that said I will do my best to review the album in its own right. The album kicks off with three great songs - Star Machine, Silver Age and The Descent - all typical Bob - he seems very comfortable in his sneered melodic unapologetic rage - Silver Age took a few listens before the full impact hit but wow what a song. The Descent, great lyrics, speaks volumes about where he seems to be right now. For me the mid-album songs are top drawer but dont hit the peaks of the first three until Angels Rearrange starts another great threesome of songs to finish the album out. There isn't one song on the album that I'd skip through and I've been listening to it a lot over the last two weeks - Streams of Hercules is this albums cry out Hoover Dam and may well become a classic in the fullness of time. I'm trying to find a con about the album to temper my enthusiasm buts its difficult - the production is right for the Bob Mould sound and his band are on top form. Roll on Bob - once a legend....always......
on 17 November 2012
I have been a massive Husker Du/Sugar/Bob Mould fan for years, although even I would admit that Mould's post-Sugar output has been patchy at best. That said, Silver Age is cracking. I feared for the worst after the last album (Life and Times), which is to be avoided in all honesty, but this is very much a return to form. Definitely prefer it to District Line, which is a quality album in its own right.
This feels like where Sugar would have gone if he had stayed with it. I had read that he was looking to rock out a bit on his next album, and this doesn't disappoint. Bob's voice has a bit of its old growl back and there is some restrained guitar feedback. The first five songs segue wonderfully well into each other, everytime I listen to this the volume knob keeps going up. Best of all there are none of the navel-staring dirges which his Bobness is sometimes prone to.
This is Bob Mould doing what he does best. I keep hoping he will have one more go at a Husker Du album (Zen Arcade II mmmmmmm), but I guess we are all getting old. Bob is looking decidely ancient these days. There is a bit of filler towards the end, but no song outstays its welcome. I would call it AOR, but it is too good for that, not least because there is a little drop of Husker spite in the mix. Sincerely hope that Bob stays in this mould (see what I done!) for at least another album. I am still kicking myself because I missed his last UK dates. Green Day and Muse won't be this good in 25 years time. Thoroughly recommended.
With the exception of the last track First time joy this album is a return to what many, me included, thinks Bob Mould does best, Rock n Roll with loud guitars, bass and drums. On this occasion he hasn't forgotten the songs either, predominantly slow/soft verse, soaring surging chorus, just like it used to be. There have been a few examples recently of artists who have re-visited their past to produce timeless excellence and this album is another one. It's the old dilemma, do you try and be experimental to show you are seeking out new avenues, which Mould has done on previous occasions, or do you return to what has proved successful in the past and you patently enjoy producing, give it a bit of a polish and get it out there? In this case it's the latter and very welcome it is too.
on 10 October 2012
A fabulous return to form by the original troubadour of rock. This is Bob Mould's finest and most consistent body of work since Copper Blue. Textured, layered guitar based tunes that grab your ears. The other 5 star reviews say it all, so I won't repeat. This album needs to be played LOUDLY ! (That is all)
on 2 February 2013
I've folloewed Bob Mould since the glory days of 'Copper Blue' and during college 'Sugar' formed the staple part of my music diet. I don't need to discuss 'Copper Blue' or 'Beaster' as they speak for themselves, and whilst I've listened to every solo album since then, I've never heard one that smacks so much of the old days. Layered, textured sounds, merging over melodious rock riffs, raw and unpolished - it really sounds like 'Sugar' all over again. And that's a good thing. Stand out tracks for me are the brilliant 'The Descent' which could have been taken from 'Copper Blue' (yes, it's THAT good) and Silver Age, a rip rawing blister of a song. Mould's heavy lyrics add to the mood and what you are left with is a assault on the senses. A blistering rip-roaring clash of sounds that is totally unique and is charateristic of Mould's sound. I missed the recent 'Sugar' show due to work commitments, but hell, if he plays in the UK again, consider my ticket bought. 'Download' I hope you are listening......
on 31 December 2012
Bob Mould on devastating, full throttle form in my view. First new album by Mr Mould that I have bought in years. A great mix of searing guitar work, thumping drums and tuneful melody. If this is Bob's Silver Age I wonder what his Golden Age might bring? Keep on keeping on Bob, one of my fave all time musical heroes.
on 2 August 2013
Just the greatest man in music. Ever. This is an astonishing record, every bit as good as Copper Blue and certainly better than either Candy Apple Grey or Warehouse. How he keeps cranking out such consisisent quality is anyone's guess, but it it doesn't matter just as long as he does. I saw him live in Leeds a couple of months back and it was storming; first 5 tracks played were just side one of Copper Blue. A few tracks from this as well, but the totallyy unexpected highlight was an amazing rendition of 'Chartered Trips' off Zen Arcade; certainly not a song I ever thought I'd ever hear performed live.
I've got Grant Hart's new LP on order, and it should arrive any day. You've a lot to live up here Grant, but I'm sure you're up to the task!
on 8 November 2012
This is Bob Mould at his absolute best. Heavy guitars and great tunes - what more do you want? All in all, an excellent album.
on 2 June 2013
This just proves that age is no boundary to creating fantastic music. I have a lots of Bob's previous CDs in various guises and I think this is actually one of the best. All of the tracks here are superb, no fillers in sight. With each listen, the tracks grow and it really is a well put together album with great production.
If you have ever liked Husker Du or Sugar you will not be disappointed. If youve never heard of Bob Mould, where have you been? Any fans of Foo Fighers or equivalents wont be disappointed with this.
Just remember to play nice and loud. Bob Mould, I salute you!
on 30 January 2013
I first discovered Bob Mould via a Sugar track (The Act We Act) on a free Q magazine compilation CD in the early 90s. Loved it, bought Copper Blue and played it to death. Beaster hit me like a ton of bricks and the hair on my neck still stands up when I listen to it - loud, of course! I even saw Sugar at Brixton Academy when they did the whole of Beaster, in order, as an encore. Jaw-droppingly good, still the best gig I ever experienced.
Loved F.U.E.L although it didn't have the staying power of Copper Blue. Investigated Husker Du and pre-Sugar solo stuff; a mixed bag for me. Bob's solo career since Sugar? Again for me a bit hit'n'miss, but which band/artist has consistently brilliant material in a 30+ year career?
So to Silver Age. In my view, Bob's BEST! Tipping even Copper Blue, which is saying something. Ten slabs of powerful melodic guitar/bass/drums & vocals. Nobody betters this simplicity of approach. I don't agree that it's just Bob doing what he does, going through the motions (see the 3* review around here). There are similarities clearly, but there are differences, some subtle, some not. It's a reinvention that has been coming since Bob returned to guitar-based rock after his brave but unsatisfying electronic phase.
There is not one single track on the album that you could call filler. Not one. It's the vitality of the album that makes it stand out even above Bob's previous highs. Maybe his demons have been fully exorcized after writing his autobiog? (an interesting but uncomfortable read). Maybe it's since he turned 50? (perhaps like my recent traverse through the half-century point, it gives you a different perspective on life). Maybe he's
finally comfortable with his sexuality?
Whatever it is, the album is so utterly LIFE AFFIRMING! I've had it on my car stereo for 2 months now, as loud as my speakers can take. It wakes me up as I drive into work, it prepares me for the misery of the working day ahead and it gives me a sugar rush (pun intended, sorry!) as I drive home. God knows what others make of this middle-aged, balding & besuited man bouncing up down in his driver's seat as I pass them by, particularly as each song kicks in, and always, always track 9, aptly named 'Keep Believing'!
I don't know what all the tracks are called, I can't hear all the lyrics, but that doesn't matter at all. It is the best album of last year by far. Best album I've heard for years. Dave Grohl acknowledges the debt he owes to Bob Mould. Today's up and coming bands should listen to Silver Age - it'd blow them away!
Magnificent, magnificent, magnificent!