Always good to hear from an old friend

Did you know that Bob Mould (of Hüsker Dü and Sugar fame) has a blog? I didn’t. Mould’s second trio Sugar saved my life in high school–that caterwaul of his; that shredded guitar sound that defied all expectations by actually being melodic and gorgeous; those lyrics that mingled rage, weariness, and hope; Malcolm Travis’s turn-on-a-dime, martial drumming. After finding Sugar, I went backwards to the Hüsker Dü days, and discovered why Mould is considered–for better and worse–the godfather of 1990s alternative rock. The Living End and Zen Arcade, despite the preponderance of production grit and the raspy, ill-enunciated vocals on both, are still among my favorite rock albums.

Sometime after Sugar disbanded, I lost track of Mould, like an old friend who just moved too far away to keep up with. I was disappointed by the solo stuff post-Sugar, then he tried briefly to write for professional wrestling federation, and then came his abysmal attempts to become a house DJ. We drifted apart.

This time around, though, he’s gone back to his guitar-blast roots, albeit with dance beats and a vocoder siphoned off from the club scene. Body of Song seems to be proof that you can take the gay man out of the dance club, but you can’t take the club out of the gay man.

Anyway, I haven’t heard the new album yet, but this long profile and this interview make me want to do so immediately. It seems he still wants to evolve, and to tweak expectations. So, he wants to graft ‘80s dance pop, kicking and screaming, onto post-punk? Well, good for him, and God bless him for trying.

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Athens, GA. His work has been published in RogerEbert.com, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Walter_Biggins).
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