Perhaps it helps that I’ve been listening to a lot of Husker Du this year – more than I have before. Then there were the reissues of the Sugar albums too; I snapped those up. So I was poised for this. But it really is a return to form. The Bob Mould career – solo and with bands – really is an embarrassment of riches. That’s not to say there haven’t been mistakes or trace-arounds that weren’t needed. But Silver Age is urgent, fierce, lively. It’s fighting fit.
You don’t believe me? Check out this clip from Letterman’s show. Boom! You like that then you’re in for more with the album. You don’t like that – fair enough. Stop reading. Don’t listen. Find something else.
It’s no great reinvention – more of a continuation after some time out. Mould has been drifting back towards the guitar for the last decade, looking to harness some power, to reclaim some of his audience and surely the attention his bands have been getting – particularly Sugar with a second wave of appreciation – has had some impact on Bob. He wrote his memoir too, it’s been a big spring-clean time. And Silver Age sets the clock back in that it could be a debut album. It hums. It rips. He tears through the material with an urgency that takes you back to whatever other best album you heard from across his career before this one.
So it’s welcome back to someone who never (really) went away. And it’s another sharp set of songs. Another reminder that Mould’s work (and workload) across the last quarter-century has been phenomenal. He’s without peer. And though this would only make a long-list of Albums of the Year it will still, easily, make that list. And that’s gotta be worth something, right?