Patch The Sky
In 2012 it Silver Age, then in 2014 it was Beauty & Ruin and now, another two-year gap and it’s to Patch The Sky – here is Bob Mould once again popping up every couple of years and punching out a mini-classic. It’s like a one-man Sugar reunion, it’s like he knows exactly what to (Husker) do – after a middle-period of being weirdly, wildly, wilfully – and sometimes wonderfully – experimental. Here, now, is Mould doing what he’s actually always done best – fronting up with a trio and bashing out some anger that sounds happy with his beautifully ominous rhythm guitar parts (Losing Time) and his knack for a killer chorus (Voices In My Head).
As long as Mould’s making records like this we’ll never – ever – need the fucking Foo Fighters too. The two minutes and twelve seconds of Losing Time is still so much better and says so more than almost anything/everything you care to select from Grohl’s post-Nirvana years of aping Mould.
He’s 55 going on 35, sometimes going back to 15 (The End of Things) with this big boom-bash party of power-pop fanaticism. The crushing bristle of Hold On, the urgency of You Say You, the anthem-like Pray For Rain, with Mould it’s not only all here but also straight away! Right away, sir. Every song a jangle-led jingle for the alternative pop-charts. Every song both a blast from the past and just subtly something he’s never quite done or said before (Lucifer and God stretches huge and wide, Daddy’s Favourite stacks its hooks atop one another, Hands Are Tied lashes out in under two minutes).
When he’s good he’s very, very good and Silver Age, Beauty & Ruin and now Patch The Sky are a late-career purple patch from one of the great enablers of the post-punk spirit; one of the songwriters that has shown best foot forward is usually a foot pressed down hard on the gas. All that bile, those sweet surges, just enough of the magic dust to make it all shine.