BOB MOULD: Blue Hearts: LP

Do you know what I loathe almost more than the world disintegrating into a dumpster fire of hatred? It is when people say, “At least we’re going to get some really good punk rock out of it.” Like that it is somehow going to make all the suffering out there worthwhile. Not only that, I can safely say that in my experience, I haven’t found any direct correlation between the quality of punk rock to the current sorry state of the world… until now. Bob Mould is fucking pissed about the state of the world (America in particular), and he has written a flamethrower of an album as a result. Now, this isn’t to say that Bob has been a slouch in previous decades. In fact, I would dare to call him one of the best songwriters currently banging it out. His sense of beauty in melody bows to no one. So, what happens when someone with that level of skill and punk rock pedigree gets mad? You get the rage of “In a Free Land”-era Hüsker Dü with the maturity of Copper Blue-era Sugar being played with the most synched in rhythm section he has ever had. There are demons being gloriously exorcized here and I am fully along for the ride. Am I grateful to the orange hatebag for being a catalyst for this record? Hell no! If I could erase that clownshoe from history, I would. Am I glad I have it to scream along to while quarantining? Absolutely! –Ty Stranglehold (Merge, mergerecords.com)