Bob Mould: Silver Age

A spoonful of Sugar sweetens this solid solo album.

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Ever since hardcore legends Hüsker Dü imploded in acrimony a quarter century ago, Bob Mould has journeyed through singer-songwriter folk-rock, broodingly angry punk-pop and club-friendly electronica, plus a bizarre digression into scriptwriting for professional wrestlers.

But as on Life And Times three years ago, Mould’s 10th solo album sticks fairly faithfully to the sound he perfected with his short-lived 1990s guitar trio, Sugar – all slamming power-pop thrust and snarly melodic blast. Indeed, on his autumn tour he plans to play these songs alongside Sugar’s best-selling 1992 debut, Copper Blue.

Mould is working within an established formula on lyrically snarky riff-slammers like Star Machine and The Descent, but it is a formula he can realistically claim to have invented.

This is the alt.rock pioneer who laid the groundwork for Nirvana and Pixies, after all. He later played with Dave Grohl and we can hardly blame him for essentially making his own Foo Fighters album.

Stephen Dalton

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.