The ghost of Sugar has been resurrected for the 21st Century. While not a Sugar redux, Bob Mould’s latest solo opus is the closest thing the legendary singer/songwriter/guitarist has come to sounding like his former power pop band of the mid-’90’s. If you’re coming into Silver Age expecting a progression from Life And Times or District Line, then you might be pretty disappointed. Think of Silver Age as a regression almost. It’s loud, plugged in, and doesn’t give a fuck. There’s even moments when Husker Du creep in (“Keep Believing”). In other words, if you like to rock, pay attention!
One thing “Star Machine” indicates immediately is that Silver Age is destined to be filled with amplified awesomeness. The title track that follows is enough to make longtime fans step back and say “Whoa!” as it slams you over the head with crunching riffs and an attitude Mould hasn’t had in years musically. “The Desecent” is just Sugar incarnate plain and simple. Jon Wurster pounds away on “Briefest Moment” and while “Steam Of Hercules” may slow down the proceedings, you’ll find you still need to keep your earplugs in. Cuz it’s loud.
If there was anything wrong with Silver Age it would be that it lacks the diversity found on Mould’s most recent solo albums which is quite alright because the man hasn’t put out an album quite like this in almost twenty years. With his history, who knows what the next album will sound like anyhow.
Catch Mould on tour this fall playing Sugar’s Copper Blue in its entirety and watch this space for the upcoming “Bob Mould Discography Fever”.
Silver Age is available now through Merge Records. Buy it today!