Tuesday 17 May 2016

Spinning: Bob Mould - Patch The Sky

The solo records of veteran Bob Mould were over shadowed for a long time by the monuments he built with Hüsker Dü. It wasn't that his solo work was bad, but they couldn't measure up with the impact and energy the legendary rock band played in those days. Mould turned out to be a master at writing righteous songs where he transformed his anger and outrage into walls of guitar. But on 2014's Beauty & Ruin he proved again to be able to let his guitar speak and capable of writing powerful songs. Convincingly he continuous down this line on Patch The Sky that holds mostly explosive and hard rocking punk songs.

Good examples are the fierce 'End Of Things' or a typical punk son 'Hands Are Tied' that, because of its short running time, has a huge impact. All songs have that unmistakable Bob Mould signature, where his loud but not too heavy guitar riffs and hooks build a sturdy foundation for the uptempo songs. This is cast into some extra concrete by the tight and solid rhythm section consisting of drummer John Wurster and bassist Jason Narducy. It puts a song like 'Losing Time' in the right gear and makes the mostly acoustic 'Losing Time' still sound very groovy.

Like always the heavy songs are a bit of misleading vehicles for Mould's deeper lyrics. Again he is digging deep into his soul and is turning everything inside out without shying away from themes like insecurity and suicide. It is praiseworthy that he is not afraid of showing his emotions and revealing himself completely. Only in the heavy and slow 'Black Confetti' and the melancholic closer 'Monument' it is clear right away that these aren't light tunes. It is striking how inspired Mould always sounds and how refreshing this makes the record.

In the same way as other veterans like Iggy Pop and Nick Cave, it seems there's a lot we can expect from the old Hüsker Dü front man. Patch The Sky may even be his best solo work so far and reminds now and then of his heyday. Only this time he is a heavy-duty experienced musician with a long life behind him with many ups and downs. Fortunately he still doesn't hide himself behind his powerful guitar play, but shares his mind without problems with anyone willing to listen.

This review has been published on Festivalinfo in Dutch over here.

Listen to 'Patch The Sky' on Spotify.

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