Accordingly, the trio punches the clock with a vengeance on the punky eruptions “Kid With Crooked Face” and “Hey Mr. Grey”, a pair of tracks that circle back to Hüsker Dü’s SST days. “Kid With Crooked Face”, corrosive and supersonic, could even pass as a long-lost Metal Circus outtake, only tightened and cleaned up considerably. And on “Hey Mr. Grey”, Mould goes so far as to echo Flip Your Wig’s “Hate Paper Doll”, even if it feels more like an unintentional lapse into familiar phrasing and melody than some kind of homage to his past.
That said, there’s no denying that “I Don’t Know Anymore” is cut from the same cloth as Hüsker Dü’s “I Apologize” and Sugar’s “If I Could Change Your Mind", and the similarity goes deeper than the song titles. For all of Mould’s experimentation over the past twenty years—a hit-or-miss penchant for reinvention that encompasses everything from chamber-folk to electronica—Beauty & Ruin sticks to just a handful of well-worn gears. On “I Don’t Know Anymore”, he hews to the sound he once tried so strenuously to outrun: the bittersweet, fuzz-fueled, pop-punk open letter to the object of his angst. This latest iteration of that formula ranks up there with his catchiest, but it also comes across like a numbingly comfortable rehash of Mould’s tuneful discomfort.
Nothing on Beauty & Ruin truly resembles experimentation, as Mould, unburdened of so much baggage of late, seems joyously unconcerned with proving anything to anyone other than the fact that he can still craft hook after hook. “Little Glass Pill” opens with a airy folk intro before plowing straight into a bleary-eyed, Sugar-style rager, while “Forgiveness” feels forced in both its ham-fisted jangle and its stiff attempt to add some small amount of textural dynamic to the album. Thankfully, "Forgiveness" is the only track here that feels disposable, although “Let the Beauty Be” and “Fix It” come close; the back-to-back songs usher out Beauty & Ruin on a sentimentally gooey note that finds Mould content to mouth banalities like “It won’t seem so bad” and “Time to fill your heart with love”.
Mould may have largely emptied himself of the venom that’s filled him for decades, but when needed, he still taps into enough of that old poison to infuse “Low Season” with a churning, Black Sheets of Rain moodiness and “Fire in the City” with some inspired chord changes and wrenching twists of power-pop desperation. On the rousing “The War”, he plies one of the most predictable riffs of his career while singing, “Listen to my voice/ It’s the only weapon I kept from the war.” Of course, that’s not true: after so many years of pummeling at everything and everyone, himself included, he’s found a measure of acceptance—but he’s also kept his brass knuckles on, just in case.
Sonntag, 8. Juni 2014
Platten vor Gericht dient uns als Plattform, um uns über neue Alben auszutauschen, sie vorzustellen und teilweise heftig zu diskutieren. Seit 2002 bewerten wir alle Alben, die uns zu Ohren kommen, mit Noten von 1 bis 10, so dass am Ende eines Jahres das "Album des Jahres" gekürt werden kann. Auch Gäste unseres Blogs sind herzlich dazu eingeladen, ihre Meinung zu äußern und Bewertungen abzugeben.
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