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Bob Mould | Sunshine Rock

The post-punk veteran sees the light on his latest solo release.


Another new day is rising for Bob Mould. And it’s a brighter one than he’s seen in some time. After going dark (again) with 2016’s Patch The Sky — written and recorded after the death of his mother and the loss of some relationships — the former Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman changed his locale by moving to Berlin. And reportedly, after plenty of soul-searching, the man who gave us Black Sheets of Rain and Everything Falls Apart also changed his outlook on life, consciously opting for positivity and optimism. It’s a seismic shift that’s writ large throughout these dozen tracks, beginning with the first lines of the opening title track: “They don’t love you like I love you. I won’t leave you in the dark. Look above you, I will love you in the sunshine on the rock.” If that isn’t upbeat enough for you, Sunny Love Song and Camp Sunshine are just some of the tracks that keep his lighter new vibe going. Something that isn’t new, thankfully? Mould’s muscular musical attack. Sticking with what he knows and does best, the 58-year-old singer-guitarist reteams with his most recent rhythm section — bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster, who also hold down the bottom end in pop-punk labelmates Superchunk. As usual, their potent propulsion solidly underpins his serrated guitar work and raspy vocals, reminding everyone that rock isn’t quite dead just yet. But Mould’s sunny outlook even seeps in here, thanks to his turbocharged melodies, keyboard overdubs and beaming background vocals. Closing cut Western Sunset merges big twanging licks with strong strings and falsetto harmonies into a power-pop confection that could be a long-lost relic from the ’60s Paisley Underground. Long story short: Mould might still believe that everything falls apart. But these days, it seems he also believes it can all be put back together.

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