Beauty & Ruin
From his days with Hüsker Dü and Sugar to the solo career that’s become his longest-running gig, Bob Mould has stuck to the mix of melody and deafening power chords that have made him an underground favorite since the early '80s. Here, working with bassist Jason Narducy (formerly of Verbow, currently of Split Single) and drummer Jon Wurster (of Superchunk, The Mountain Goats, and elsewhere), Mould has more room than ever to make a huge noise. Songs like “I Don’t Know You Anymore,” “The War," and “Hey Mr. Grey” remind everyone of just how Mould can take a catchy pop song and whip it into a punk frenzy. His signature guitar sound and chording technique is everywhere on what’s counted as his 10th solo album. Mould’s dark side, always a compelling component of Hüsker Dü (“Hardly Getting Over It,” anyone?), is present from the opening grind of “Low Season” and can be heard recurring in the leaner approach of “Forgiveness,” where the older Mould teaches the young Mould a few things about life beyond hardcore.