Helpless // Sugar
Still on my Bob Mould high from Sunday night.
In the mid-80’s, Hüsker Dü exploded in classic rock-and-roll fashion: drugs, alcohol, fistfights over songwriting credit, insults on stage, etc. Hot hate. Bob and Grant still take shots at each other in the media. Bob took a little time off, dried out, and in 1989 he went up to a farm in the Minnesota woods and wrote Workbook, a dark, brooding, angry masterpiece that goes to the desert island with me.
Shortly after that he released Black Sheets of Rain. You can probably guess from the title that it isn’t a walk in the park, either. It’s angrier and more violent, and where Workbook has a lot of sparse, clean guitar playing, this second album brought back the wall of screaming guitar sound he was more known for previously. I love the record, but no one else does. His label reports official sales of 7,000 units to date.
Perhaps realizing that expressing all that anger wasn’t helping, or maybe because he had gotten it out of his system, he next formed Sugar and out comes Copper Blue with a fair number of upbeat, almost poppy tunes like this. Happy Bob! But no:
And now you find as time goes by
You’re left with nothing meaning much
Angry Bob became Existential Crisis Bob.
Hang in there, Bob. It will get better. (to be continued, maybe)