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Bob Mould celebrates 'Silver Age' in new album

Friday - 9/7/2012, 10:22am  ET

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Starting more than 30 years ago, Bob Mould helped shape the genre of alternative rock with his bands Hüsker Dü and Sugar. (Facebook Photo)

Mould turns to his signature sound

WTOP's Tim Bracken reports.

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Tim Bracken, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Post-punk pioneer Bob Mould has been busy over the past two years. He released an autobiography, toured with the Foo Fighters and has campaigned in support of same-sex marriage.

Starting more than 30 years ago, Mould helped shape the genre of alternative rock with his bands Hüsker Dü and Sugar.

Mould has lived in D.C. since 2002.

In July 2012, Merge Records marked the 20th anniversary of Sugar's album "Copper Blue" with reissues of the band's catalog, and Mould has been on tour performing "Copper Blue" in its entirety.

Mould's varied output has included punk, melodic pop and even electronic music. But for his latest album, "Silver Age", Mould has returned to his signature wall- of-guitar sound.

Released on Sept. 4, the album is sure to be a joy for die-hard fans. It's the fastest, loudest and perhaps the most consistent album Mould has produced in years.

Watch a video of him below:

The album starts strong with "Star Machine," a seething reflection on fame.

Bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster set the tone of the album right away with an all-out assault from a perfectly matched rock rhythm section.

The title track is almost equal parts Sugar and Hüsker Dü. The whole band is in sync for the opening riff. Mould's slightly distorted vocals add extra weight to his delivery of lines like "I'm never too old to contain my rage."

The lead single, "The Descent", kicks off with a memorable dual guitar hook that plays call-and-response with Mould's brooding lyrics.

Listen to "The Descent" below:

The Descent by Bobmouldmusic

"Briefest Moment" masterfully evokes the angst of teenage youth. The song's opening brings to mind early Psychedelic Furs, with pounding drums and pared down guitar lines, before launching into a driving, melodic chorus.

Most of the songs sound like they could have been on any of Sugar's three albums. Another standout is the up-tempo "Keep Believing," which features some inventive lead guitar and vocal turns from Mould, including some great harmony work.

The closer, "First Time Joy", is the lone track on the album featuring clean guitar sounds, but it's back to rocking by the two-minute mark.

"Silver Age" is an album of exhilarating and succinct songs. It is a well-crafted album from one of alt rock's elder statesmen.

There are no boring songs to be found here and nothing on the album sounds forced or out of place.

That's a rare thing for a band of any age.

Bob Mould performs "The Silver Age" and Sugar's "Copper Blue" at the 9:30 Club Sept. 8.

The concert will be followed by the popular Blowoff dance party, featuring DJ sets from Mould and Rich Morel.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)