On the face of it calling your album Sunshine Rock seems like kind of an odd thing for Bob Mould to do; his first release since the death of former Hüsker Dü band mate Grant Hart, the veteran singer also doesn’t suffer fools gladly, or usually mince his words when dissecting the rights and wrongs of politics of any stripe.
And yet paradoxically for Mould it’s also the best time to make such a statement. Putting aside the fractures which drove them to not speak for decades, he and Hart were reconciled enough prior to his passing for the singer to acknowledge in a recent interview that he’s achieved closure since. Added to that although there are new songs in the pipeline about the moral bankruptcy of some American institutions, they were left deliberately off Sunshine Rock as a gesture to the many of us who are weary of the constant polemic.
What remains within this giving ground is simply a man writing at his assured best, the titular opener a crisp and forthright love song that serves as a handy reminder he was half of one of the 20th century’s most competitive, elevated musical partnerships. There’s some of the old gang’s piss and vinegar as well on What Do You Want Me To Do and the gloriously moshpit-lining I Fought, whilst Camp Sunshine and The Final Years is life looked at from both ends of the periscope.
Bob Mould will argue that he’s earned the right to do pretty much whatever he desires anyway, a lofty position for someone having reached national treasure status. Sunshine Rock may be business as unusual, but it’s still good business all the same.
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