Saturday, October 20, 2012

Album Review: Bob Mould – Black Sheets of Rain

After the (artistically) successful stripped-down departure of Workbook, in 1990 Bob Mould went back to rocking like a man possessed on Black Sheets of Rain.  This album is for lovers of the heavy guitar onslaught.
The powerful title track sets the tone, an almost eight minute long wall of guitars, coming off like a distorted, rocked up version of The Cure's In Your House (from their Seventeen Seconds days). There are several guitar breaks in this track as Mould sings bleak lyrics: "where will you be in my darkest hour of need? Someone stopped the sun from shining".

The rest of the album struggles to measure up to this track, though the brooding One Good Reason comes close to matching the guitar heaven matched with bad moods of the title track (and it's almost as long), and later Hanging Tree is an a similar vein. Elsewhere It's Too Late is a Westerberg-style rocker, Stop Your Crying invents 'emo' alt-rock, The Last Night is a mellow anthem, and weirdly, Disappointed comes off sounding like one of Grant Hart's Husker Du songs!

As with Workbook this album ends with roaring catharsis, this time in the shape of Sacrifice/Let There Be Peace. It's a decent, but barring one or two tracks, inessential follow up to Workbook.