The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




JUNE 9 2014



Bob Mould’s recent ‘Silver Age’ saw the great man in fine form after all kinds of previous dabblings with electronic and dance music and other eclectic projects that really only ever divided his listeners rather than opening him up to another world. And that in itself is probably the great sadness of the man who gave us everything musically with Husker Du, and yet watched others take the torch he lit and claim the medals. That I’m afraid is life for most of us and at least Mould has used that impetus to create some wonderful music over the years, if sorely underappreciated.


‘Beauty and Ruin’ thankfully treads similar sonic territory to ‘Silver Age’ and uses the self-same musicians to deliver it.


This sounds like an angry album to us but also a reflective one, with the cover showing a modern day Mould staring into a distance, superimposed over his younger Dylan-like self and the name ‘BOB MOULD’ in white neon capitals. It’s a striking image but one where it’s hard to tell what is on the man’s mind or indeed who is looking at what.


The album kicks off with the classic Mould sound of ‘Low Season’ before the cutting punk of ‘Little Glass Pill’ and the latter-day Husker Du leanings of ‘I Don’t Know You Anymore’ (the first single). It’s inconceivably an even better start than to ‘Silver Age’.


Sonically while distinctly Bob Mould, the man throws in all his angles from the thrashy punk of ‘Kid with a Crooked Face’ to the its almost Do-Wop intro of ‘Nemeses Are Laughing’ which thankfully melts into a contemplative Mould paean to  


‘The War’ sees his pop sensibilities rise again to the fore which a crunchy song; before the out and out acoustic pop of ‘Forgiveness’ a light and saccharine-laced ditty leads to the fight and Sugar-slickness of ‘Hey Mr. Grey’.
‘Fire in the City’ sees Mould more reflective and ‘Tomorrow Morning’ just soars, like all his best work with Sugar did. Closing out with the strummed sing along 'Let The Beauty Be' and the kick- out-the-jams rocker 'Fix It' does it just right for me as the two sides of Mould collide in a huge melodic accident like a truck carrying jelly and a truck carrying custard driven by slightly emotional clowns. There’s something about Bob Mould that makes you smile despite his best intentions to share some pain.


This is a collection that despite its brevity (at 36 minutes) seems effortless. It’s another lesson in writing that classic melodic furious pop that bands like Foo Fighters and countless others make millions out of, but rarely sound as good as.



by Mark Diggins