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Progressive punk rock,
This review is from: Zen Arcade (Audio CD)
Of the many fantastic American indie guitar albums released in 1984, Husker Du's "Zen Arcade" is arguably the best. All the more remarkable when you consider that it was made on less than a shoestring, much of it recorded live, despite the backdrop of political pro U.S.A. Reaganism sloganeering in the media and British "second invasion" twaddle dominating the U.S charts at the time. Husker Du created music which reached out to a polarised underground U.S. punk community and more importantly helped give it a voice.
If you have never heard this record before then you will be surprised how musicaly diverse it is. First of all it's a concept double album based loosely around the story of a young runnaway escaping a broken home into a world of drugs and violence. The 23 songs range from melodic hardcore ("Pride", "I will Never Forget You"), bizarre instramentals ("Tooth Fairy", "Reocurring Dreams") acoustic folk ("Never Talking To You Again"), indie pop ("Pink Turns To Blue", "Somewhere") and progressive rock wig-outs ("Turn On The News", "What's Going On").
Furthermore it has huge ambition, bursting with ideas whilst nodding approval and inspiration from sprawling Sixties art/pop classics like The Who's "Quadrophenia" and the Beatles "White album". If I have to point out a downside it would be that the record has a rather thin sound due to poor production and some songs seem restricted by the apparent speed of recording. Mould's guitar still sounds awesome though and the bands songwriting is really top notch. "Zen Arcade" is a great record and well worth investigating if you love guitar bands/punk/indie.