Bob Mould ‘Silver Age’ – album review

Bob Mould ‘Silver Age’ (Edsel/Demon)
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With career highlights that include, though not restricted to being the founding member of not one but two bands that were genre defining; Husker Du and Sugar – it must be a daunting challenge for Bob Mould to know quite where to position himself; thankfully ‘Silver Age’ does not find him in reflective mood…

With ‘Silver Age’ – get this, his 10th solo album – Mould has successfully created an intense sonic blast that is easily traced back to Husker Du’s later output, he says himself “I’d been battling around the idea of another aggressive pop record for some time” but also draws on the pop sensibilities of Sugar.

Album opener ‘Star Machine’ features the characteristic vocals, the quiet-loud abrasive guitar that provided both Pixies and Nirvana with careers. ‘Silver Age’ continues in the same vein, solid shards of guitar as Mould informs that “I’m never too old to contain my rage,” over an effervescent fuzzy riff, whilst the first single ‘The Descent’ contrary to its title reaches anthemicly upward, layers of guitar, choruses and riddled with infectious hooks. Mould gets autobiographical during ‘Briefest Moment’ as he reminds us “I was a small-town kid with no possessions / and I was bored beyond belief” over a deceptively simple and instant guitar.

For ‘Steam Of Hercules’ as befits such a title, Mould swaps buzzing energy for musical expanse, reducing the pace but broadening your horizons as he pulls in huge drums, crashing symbols lifted direct from Husker Du.

‘Silver Age’ sees Mould re-visit his past, though don’t be fooled into presuming this album is any less relevant for that; Mould understands his craft and ‘Silver Age’ is a vital demonstration of that.

Track list:

1. Star MAchine
2. Silver age
3. The Descent
4. Briefest Moment
5. Steam Of Hercules
6. Fugue State
7. Round The City Square
8. Angels Rearrange
9. Keep Believing
10. First Time Joy

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Phil Newall is from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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