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Been on my car stereo for two months!
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!