Living legend, Bob Mould has a new single out now, American Crisis (Merge) and from the get go, it's a good old fashioned serious beat down. No punches drawn.
I imagine this was recorded oh um, fairly recently, with the covid references, the stylish way the band project unity and isolation in isolation in the great, great video, but the wholesale lack of ambiguity in the lyrics and the attendant sonic violence and Bob's singleminded performance... FFS, it's like he recorded American Crisis while getting tear gas fired at him from the Whitehouse.
You couldn't be more pissed off.
In interviews, Bob Mould... is urbane, thoughtful, considered, you know, precisely the kind of person you'd not want to meet in a party kitchen because if it came up, and you got into it with him, he probably could get into the Telecaster saddle/tuning debate and it would be pretty important to him after all, tuning, playing style... and then, onto the danger of yo-yo diets that you started, and that your parents are dead, because you're worried about what to say that will seem so interesting and punching above your weight and you'd probably be looking over his shoulder at some girl whose already been a woman for 20 years already and is still half your age and wishing this had never begun. Then someone comes in and gives him his Stratocaster guitar, the blue one. It's not nowhere near enough to say that then everything changes.
Oh what might have been. If only you'd known. He is that guy.
On American Crisis, from Bob's forthcoming full length, Blue Hearts, Bob is mad as hell. But of course it's a controlled madness, it's deliberate, it's determined by events, it's violent and shocking. It has a calculated mundanity too, a confident 'only I can do this this well' about it.
Here's a bit about the new LP from Bob's press release...
Blue Hearts is fuelled by a pervasive sense of déjà vu, its angry anthems of today equally informed by his experiences and memories of the early 1980s. Back then, Mould was a self-described “22-year-old closeted gay man” touring with the one and only Hu?sker Du? as AIDS consumed his community. Leaders – including the one in the White House – seemed content to let the epidemic kill a generation. No wonder Bob Mould found his mind wandering back…
“We have a charismatic, telegenic, say-anything leader being propped up by evangelicals,” he says. “These fuckers tried to kill me once. They didn’t do it. They scared me. I didn’t do enough. Guess what? I’m back, and we’re back here again. And I’m not going to sit quietly this time and worry about alienating anyone.”
You really need to listen.
Main Image © Blake Little
Bob online bobmould.com
Lovely FaceCulture Interview on Youtube here
Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT, relentlessly records instrumental easy listening tracks, and is always completing the short story collection, Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere. More info at AncientChampion.com
Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]
If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]