Bob Mould Patch the Sky
Bob Mould has been on a musical tear the past few years: Both 2012’s Silver Age and 2014’s Beauty & Ruin found the punk/alt-rock icon writing some of the most incisive, aggressive music of his career. That hot streak continues on Patch the Sky, which, like his last two records, overflows with melodic, guitar-heavy songs bolstered by the locked-in rhythm section of bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster.
Highlights include the sub-two-minute hardcore blast “Hands Are Tied,” the chugging bar-band boogie of “Daddy’s Favorite” and the throttling punk-pop gem “The End of Things,” although Patch the Sky’s lyrics are perhaps even more crushing, as the ruminations on crumbling love and heart-shredding loss hold nothing back. Still, even nods to Mould’s back catalog feel refreshed and modern: “Pray for Rain” conjures Sugar’s bubblegum-grunge, while “Voices In My Head” resembles the stormy, acoustic-electric vibe of the solo album Workbook. Once again, Mould stares down his fears and sorrow—and emerges triumphant.