Saturday, June 11, 2016

Bob Mould - The Last Dog and Pony Show

Bob Mould's fourth solo album, released in 1998, was supposed to be his farewell to guitar rock, though we now know that didn't turn out to be the case.  It didn't augur well that the opening track was entitled New #1.  However the track is a sort of driving guitar rock anthem, nothing amazing, but not terrible.  A bit like most of the album.  And there lies the problem.  Very few of the tracks are particularly distinctive, Moving Trucks, Taking Everything and First Drag of the Day are just... fine but aren't especially memorable.  The stomping riffs of Skintrade are a distinct improvement on a rocker which wouldn't disgrace his stronger albums.

There are three standouts towards the end of the album, though one is for the wrong reasons.  Megamanic opens with a robotic voice chanting "mega mega, mega mega" and foreshadows Mould's move into dance music.  On the other hand, previous track Sweet Serene rocks harder than anything else here, with big riffs outdoing the likes of the Foo Fighters but not Mould himself.  Final track Along the Way sees Mould sounding more emotional than anything else here and works well for that reason.  But overall, not the Bob Mould album to lend to your friends.  Or indeed pester them about on your favourite streaming service.