Bob Mould – Bob Mould – Round 81 – Graham’s Choice

“How the hell did that get MI0001886192 into my record collection”, was always going to be a tricky one for me as I’d come upon the idea by bringing the Ozric’s to the last round. I had a lot of options which I’d like to pretend that I had no idea how they got there, but sadly I knew (or at least thought I did) what I was doing each time I purchased or swapped them with someone. I do in fact recall once swapping a ‘Men at Work’ album, for a Genesis LP. There were no winners in that transaction.

So other than pretend I had no idea how my choice came to be in my possession, I had to go with one I picked up in a impulse purchase in a charity shop last year. Along with ‘Everything but the Girl’, ‘Glasvegas’ and ‘Athelete’, ‘Bob’ came in to my possession for a mere £1.

But what’s peculiar about ‘Bob’ is he has been around me for many years, but taken till now for me to buy in to some ‘product’, even though it was just a £1. I saw Husker Du a couple of times in the mid 80’s, had their albums on C90’s. Always like the sound of Sugar (and will be seeking to reacquaint myself with those again), but never added them to my collection. So a chance meeting in a charity shop in Buckingham, finally got us together.

His third solo album and first post Sugar. Although he plays everything on the album and does the whole thing single-handedly, it doesn’t sound at all overly introspective. The songs are fresh and immediate. Riffs and hooks pulling you in from the beginning, while darker and bitter lyrics keep your attention as to what he is trying to say.

There was never going to be a great story to this choice, just a cracking little album I came upon by chance.

Rob listened: Ah, Bob. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways… Actually, let’s not as they probably amount to ‘amazing, distinctive melodies played on amazing, buzzsaw guitars by an amazing, distinctive vocalist’. Let’s instead reflect on the irony that Husker Du are one of the long-running sub-plots of DRC. There’s barely a meeting goes by without Tom and I retiring to a metaphorical ante-chamber to discuss which of their albums we would bring if we could only stop playing ‘After you Claude!’ and pussyfooting around who’s musical birthright it is to introduce them to the club. And yet Mould makes his album-length entrance heralded by the words ‘WTF? I got this in a charity shop!’

‘Bob Mould’ is a solid, occasionally great post Sugar record, as in it’s a step back to what most people think Mould does best (see earlier). I love ‘Workbook’ and ‘Black Sheets of Rain’ but they are outliers of their own in the context of his body of work. It’s no accident that this is the record he put his name to and since it came out he’s been building once again on the foundation, towards the recent ‘Silver Age’ and ‘Beauty and Ruin’, two late-period belters.

So, should it be ‘Candy Apple Grey’ or ‘Flip Your Wig’?

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