Now that Husker Du aren't reforming (good), Bob can get on with making his solo albums. This latest one is a result of him spending six months in solitude (a long time to not see a human) and promises to be his darkest record in some time. I'd be interested to see a return to the 'Workbook' sound but who knows with Bob. His latter day albums always have moments of great so this will be well worth keeping an eye on.
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Another year, another Bob Mould album. Not as prolific as that other going through the motions man Bob (Pollard) but on a similar career path opt churning something out every couple of years that will appease old fans but not gain him any new followers. Who can blame him? He tried electronica on ‘Modulate’ and everyone lost their temper with him.
‘Patch the Sky’ is a perfectly acceptable Bob Mould album that chugs along like a Northern Rail train without doing anything spectacular. Opener ‘Voices in My Head’ is pleasant enough - you couldn’t mistake him for anyone else. ‘The End of Things’ is nice and energetic with that buzz saw guitar sound in full effect - not dissimilar from a ‘Zen Arcade’ rocker. Bob is safely within his comfort zone here playing reasonably melodic noisy alt rock but when you get track after track of the same dynamics without any killer songs coming through (at least on the first couple of listens) it all starts to blend into one fuzzed out cardigan and slippers murk. There’s the odd classy chorus here and there to remind you how good he can be - ‘You Say You’ is particularly chunky and enjoyable.
Overall though this hasn’t caught my ear in the way that parts of his previous album ‘Beauty and Ruin’ did. Still, if you are a long term fan this will probably give you what you want.
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- Patch The Sky by Bob Mould
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