Bob Mould, 'Life and Times' (Anti-)

Critical Mass
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by Barry Walters

It's a blessing and a curse that the sad young men of Hüsker Dü didn't meet a tragic end so their legacies could've been washed in unconditional love. But having dodged sainthood, Bob Mould continues to make things messy: Now he documents a middle-age gay life damped by abusive relationships, empty sport sex, and self-knowledge that leads to solitude. Loud guitars still give him joy; the techno effects that heighten his vocal alienation cancel it out. Yet the miserable bastard can still write melodies that make the medicine go down, and ultimately, that's his redemption.

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