Arriving 30 years after Hüsker Dü first emerged in the Minneapolis rock scrum, 20 years after his first solo album, and the year before the scheduled release of his autobiography, Bob Mould's Life and Times (Anti) would seem destined to be reflections on his past. Yes and no. Although many of the new album's lyrics are reflective, he has insisted they're not autobiographical, but universal. Yet the songs—mostly about the ephemeral nature of relationships—are written, and usually sung, with such intimate feeling to suggest he doth protest too much about the personal connection. Sound-wise, Mould largely eschews the electronica experiments that have often dominated his work of late, instead revving up his electric guitar and letting loose with his distinctive, now-iconic blend of strong melody and shredding noise. It's tempting to call Life and Times an album of great maturity, given the assurance Mould displays in constructing track after track, even the punk onslaught "Argos." But there's also a sense of liberation in Mould's guitar forays that smacks of glorious, youthful indiscretion; maybe he's still having the time of his life. With Alec Ounsworth. 18+. (Photo by Noah Kalina)
Tue., Oct. 13, 7 p.m., 2009
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