For a guy still revered for a long-defunct garage-rock band that played it loud and played it rough, Bob Mould sure knows how to write a pop hook.
Having disbanded Hüsker Dü, seen the Pixies take his template and run with it, and then tasted success with his new band Sugar - first with Copper Blue, then the heavy, hard-hitting Beaster - Mould set about a solo career that’s seen variable returns. Over the course of his last few albums, he’s really hit his stride, though, and by the release of Beauty & Ruin earlier this year, seemed like a guy totally at ease with himself and his music. This is borne out in the album’s shotgun speed (12 songs in 36 minutes), its energy, and its riffs. Listening to the whole album is like getting a history lesson in what makes Bob Mould tick, and what makes him great.
On I Don’t Know You Anymore he heads back to territory that lies somewhere between Copper Blue and its almost-as-good but not quite there follow-up File Under Easy Listening with a track that’s as chart-ready as his best-known and biggest-charting single If I Can’t Change Your Mind, a song he had once pretty consciously worked to distance himself from. If Bob Mould is happy to go back there, I for one am more than happy to make the trip with him.