BLEEDER’S DIGEST: QUICKIE REVIEWS OF NEW RELEASES FROM BOB MOULD BAND & WISDOM IN CHAINS
Bob Mould Band, Live At ATP 2008
I am loathe to acknowledge the All Tomorrow’s Parties machine as little more than an opportunity for cynical indie rock fogies and their younger, still-insufficiently jaded hipster equivalents to participate in the reprehensible festival experience they’d otherwise sneer at. Still, the organizers and curators behind the expensive, all-inclusive, fan-coddling 2008’s New York installment tempted me with the inclusion of former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould on the lineup. This quality soundboard recording, officially sanctioned though somewhat deceptively designed to look like a bootleg, features the hardcore punk and alt-rock pioneer running through a career-spanning forty-three minute set with a band featuring members of Superchunk and Verbow. Kicking off with a pair of tracks from his poppy post-hardcore project Sugar, one can immediately see these as part of the Midwest hxc legacy. Even post-Sugar solo cuts marred in the studio (“Circles,” “Paralyzed”) benefit from the substantially punkier treatment offered by the full live band. Of course, true gratification comes with the closing five song mini-set of Husker Du classics, of which “Chartered Trips” and an earth-scorching rendition of “New Day Rising” stand out. While not necessarily the best place to start for beginners, those at least familiar with New Day Rising or Zen Arcade should grab this limited edition disc.
(4 out of 5 horns)
Wisdom In Chains, Everything You Know
When Mad Joe screams “All those years I was living a lie, but last night hardcore saved my life” during the captivating chorus for “Chasing The Dragon,” you’re inclined to believe him. With previous releases on respected independent labels such as Eulogy and A389, Wisdom In Chains benefit from experience as much as influence on this, their I Scream debut. Not trying to reinvent the wheel, so-to-speak, the Pennsylvania-based act maintains an energetic classic NYHC-esque assault on cuts like “The Cost Of Living” while showcasing a more melodic, anthemic punk style on “I Go On.” Highlight “Back To The Ocean” offers a moving and acutely heartfelt account of loss, with gang vocals accenting the shared pain and respect felt for the departed. Though admittedly Everything You Know sounds considerably dated–compared to progressive modern acts like, say, Blacklisted–and loses a bit of steam in its second-half, lovers of positive, traditional pit-inciting hardcore should find the album to their liking.
(3 out of 5 horns)