Husker Du

Do You Remember? (How Awesome They Were Before They Pussed Out At The End There?)
*special introductory paragraph!
*Northern Lights Demo
*Land Speed Record
*Everything Falls Apart And More
*Metal Circus EP
*Zen Arcade
*New Day Rising
*Flip Your Wig
*Eight Miles High 7"
*Candy Apple Grey
*Warehouse: Songs And Stories
*The Living End
I'm far too intrigued by the lifestyles of "those different from me" to NOT point out that 2/3rds of this legendary Minneapolis hardcore/post-hardcore power trio were as gay as a happy three dollar bill. But I'm only gonna mention it that one time, because whether on stage, in the studio or up some guy's anal pass, THEY TORE!!!! Their fantastic drug addictions and creativity led them to create some of the most visceral, emotional, face-sandblasting hardcore sounds in the Wurld -- until they slowed down and started jangling all over creation. You will now find singer/guitarist Bob Mould retired from Sugar, vocalist/drummer Grant Hart retired from Nova Mob and mouthpiece/bassist Greg Norton enjoying the finest handlebar mustache this town has to offer (unless he shaved it off like some ASSHOLE).

Northern Lights Demo - Bootleg 1979
Rating = 2

I honestly can't get over how much Husker Du used to SUCK TOTAL ASS OUT LOUD. Granted, they were little babies at the time they recorded this (Greg - 20, Grant - 18, Bob - 17), but that's no excuse for taking the blistering, innovative sound of the Ramones and turning it into a slow, boring mess of happy '50s love balladry. There are five songs on here, and TWO (that's 40%, incidentally) of them sound just like "Babysitter"!!! Do you hear me? "BABYSITTER"!!!! As in "WORST RAMONES SONG OF ALL TIME EXCEPT 'CRETIN FAMILY'"!!!

If you're unfamiliar with "Babysitter," it's basically an early '60s Phil Spector-produced throwaway girl group ballad B-side written and recorded by the Ramones in 1977. And this five-song Husker Du demo has TWO songs that sound just like it. That's my point, really. No need to get excited, man. It's 'cuz I'm short, I know.


I'm not sure who's singing lead on these tracks, but it's about a bagilliongillion miles away from the gruff screaming and yelling that would drive Land Speed Record a couple years later. Instead, this JERKHOLE sings in a wispy, uncertain warble of perfectly pitchless teen loserdom - you can almost SEE him getting caught by his mom masturbating. Keep on being a loser, loser!

Lyrically, only one song really stands out, and that's only because it's so gross and stupid; like the Descendents' nicer cousin, the narrator of "Can't See You Any More" chides a girl for making him have sex with her, then cries that their lives are ruined. I'm not sure whether she's pregnant or he's given her a venereal disease or what, but the song stinks. And sounds like "Babysitter."

Elsewhere, "Picture Of You" is straight outta 1959 and "The Truth Hurts" sounds just like "Babysitter," but the final two tracks ("Do You Remember?" and "Sore Eyes") actually DO manage to kick up a little Ramonesy punk rock dust. During the choruses anyway - the verses are terrible. Were these boys just incapable of thinking up a decent vocal hook? These are almost stomach-eating-itselfingly bad!

Instrumentwise, you've got a bass in one speaker, a fuzzy Ramones guitar in the other, and a Steve Jonesy lead guitar occasionally playing a few rudimentary penis licks on top. Backgroundwise, you've got five songs recorded by Colin Mansfield in the basement of a record store. Robertwise, you've got the Oscar-winning director of West Side Story. What would HE think of all this!? Do you ever ask yourself that???? I'm serious now. If Robert Wise were alive today, what would HE think about the "War On ERROR"? And "George W. BULLSHIT"? Would he teach us an important lesson with a sequel to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the legendary TV series' sole foray into feature film? Would he use the wisdom he gained as Executive Producer of Wisdom to carve a brighter day out of yesterday's tomorrows? All I know for certain is that if Robert Wise were alive today, the world would be a lot goddamned better off than it currently is.

Reader Comments
Robert Wise isn't dead.
Okay, maybe he's not. But when he IS dead, will we truly be able to say that we are better off THEN than we are now? I don't think so. Things are really pretty great right now. With a healthy, growing economy, with more Americans going back to work, with our nation an active force for good in the world, the state of our union is confident and strong. Our generation has been blessed by the expansion of opportunity, by advances in medicine, by the security purchased by our parents' evil sacrifice. I will work with Congress to ensure that human embryos are not created for experimentation or grown for body parts and that human life is never bought or sold as a commodity. Our enemies know this, and that is why the terrorist Zarqawi recently declared war on what he called the 'Evil Principle' of Moments LP by Robert Plant. Our men and women in uniform are fighting in Iraq so we do not have to face them here at home. And thank God for that, because they're a bunch of violent rednecks. By the year 2042, the entire system will be exhausted and bankrupt. As Franklin Roosevelt once reminded Americans, 'Each age is a dream that is dying.' Now, as we see a little gray in the mirror, or a lot of gray...


Thank you.


God bless America.


Reader Comments
"babysitter" is awesome!
I like 'babysitter' and i like 'danny says' too. i always thought they shoulda been the same song. i think the worst ramones song is probably "spiderman"

Add your thoughts?

Land Speed Record - Reflex 1981
Rating = 7

I'm all for recording "on the cheap" - after all, birds do it all the time! HA HAHAH!!!! (cheep) But did anybody actually LISTEN to this wash of static noise before sending the album out to record stores?! It sounds like it was recorded up a Jap's ass with Rudy Vallee's pompadour mic! (copyright Reader's Digest April 1941). The debut Husker Du LP was recorded live in front of an audience of young people who really just wanted to hear Warehouse: Songs And Stories in its entirety, but unfortunately none of the songs had been written yet, so guitarist/vocalist Andy Partridge had to keep shouting back at them, "Hay, assholes. We're not Husker Du."

Let's try again, but with a THIRD shot of whiskey. One second.

Dear Christ, whiskey is some foul-tasting ammonia. One time in 'Nam (the National Association of Manufacturers), I was licking this transvestite's ass and it tasted almost exactly like this, except more like poop and a guy's balls. My word. Apparently when I drink, sleazy Rudy Ray Moore humor comes out of my fingers! It's almost like I'm one of the guys on (watch "Searching For Santa" for a perfect indication of exactly what would happen if somebody gave me a video camera and some friends). But this shouldn't be about ME, people!! This is Husker Du's VERY FIRST ALBUM! And you're RUINING it by making me drink a fourth shot of Jack Daniel! One sec while I acquiesce to your demand.

Oh my sweet Jesus. That is the worst tasting SHIT IN THE UNIVERSE. And believe me, I've tasted human shit. You know, the funny thing is -- I've actually never eaten human shit nor have I licked anybody's ass - it's really just all drunken grotesquery. I don't find anything charming about fecal matter, including my own. Godd was a dumb asshole when he made up the "shit" part of life. I'm not denying it feels good to pass something, but it smells SO BAD. And looks SO BROWN. You've been there! Hell, the prettiest girl in the world, that businessman down the street - they've ALL been there! Even guys who last a long time in the sack - hey, how long do you last in the sack? You don't know!? Dude, when I'm...when I'm doin' one, I got one eye on the bitch and one eye on the clock! Specaking of "clock," my wife is blasting Ned's Atomic Dustbin and dancing around to that song "Throwing Things." That's a good CD, by the way! God Fodder. Everything they did afterward was a CD case filled with ticks and maggots though, so don't buy any of them or you'll infest your house with ticks, maggots and boring music. This is my review of Husker Du's first album.

17 songs in 26 minutes. Recorded live with a GODAWFUL mix. It's VERY hard to listen to all the way through, and you're talking to a guy who sleeps on a pillow made out of Dustbusters and airplane engines! It's fast and energetic, but it's very hard to actually hear the riffs. Thank God you can hear the bass notes, because the guitar sounds like it's pumping out of an amplifier the size of everybody in the world but me's penis. Seriously - the guitar just sounds like a trebly, tuneless vacuum cleaner -- yet it DOESN'T CLEAN YOUR CARPET. Like what's the point? Thanks for nothing, Bob Mould the asshole plays the guitar and vocals. Greg Norton the prick plays bass and vocals. Grant Hart my best friend plays drums and vocals. CHRIST! Didn't I go over this in the introductory paragraph of Love? I hope so. Hey! It's snowing here in NYC today! Welcome to my Cocaine!

The drums on here sound like one cymbal and an irregular heartbeat. And three different grown men yell lyrics tunelessly. It sounds like a bootleg! Ironically (yet not at all ironically), I have a "boot" on my "leg" right now, "Alanis Morissette"! I'ts SNOWING! Hang on - time for a fifth shot -- and by the way, thanks for the hangover you're giving me, you demanding murderous reader monster trucks.

Okay, thanks for that. Now I'm listening to the song that goes "That don't rub with me/I know better." This really is a great album. God Fodder, I mean. If you like power pop, you can't do a whole lot better. As for Band Peed Naked by Jusker Du, it's good. It's HARDCORE PUNK. Okay? HIGH-SPEED HARDCORE PUNK. Recorded live and so poorly that the songs all run together and sound identical until you've heard it hundreds of times. At that point, you will realize what a GREAT selection of chord-oriented riffs it contains. These are GREAT and ridiculously fast hardcore riffs. And the moods vary! Sick! Basic but fun! Bouncy! Angry! Happy! Complicated! Weird! And the drummer is extremely talented, accenting melodic changes that most drummers would completely ignore, giving the band a weird, herky-jerky, painfully fast and rigid feel. Actually, I'm not sure if that description applies to this album because I'm too druckin' Funk to separate my thoughts from my wife crinkling something and my Dog coming down the spiral staircase. NOTE TO YOUTH: DRINK ALCOHOL AT COLLEGE PARTIES. I NEVER DID, AND I NEVER HAD SECTS.

These songs are great sweaty angry fun awesome smart fast hardcore anthems about "guns at my school" and "gilligan's island" and a "strange week" and what it's like to be "tired of doing things," but the overall kickass quotient is DESTROYED by the hideous recording. I hope there are people who like this miserable powerless mix because I sure don't. These are great songs (and some generic ones, but who cares?) recorded SO GODDDDDDAMNED POORLY that I don't love them as much as they deserve to be loved. Why on earth would a band LAUNCH themselves to the world with a live recording? And why on Earth is the song "When You Find Out" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin so damnationed great? See, I'll never review Ned's Atomic Dustbin because they SUCKED after this album. But MAN! What a great album! As for Husker Du, they were one of the earliest hardcore bands, but God this album would have beeen SO MUCH BETTER had they recorded it in a studio and not forced me to drink five shots of whiskey before reviewing it. The songs deserve an 8, but the production renders them a 7. Gotta go to Pizza Uno. I love you. Please don't get angry at me for writing a shitty review while drunk. Some people take this music review stuff too seriously. I hope people read my stuff, because some (NOT ALL) of it is fun to read. And I hope I describe the music well. But music is FUN. Life can be hard, but music isn't important. It's art. It's way low (or do I mean high?) on Maslow's Pyramid. People who take it SERIOUSLY have too much free time and have no idea what true suffering is. I don't either, but at least I understand that music is just entertainment and not something to live for. Loser Bruce Springsteen fans. REAL LIFE involves being born, being treated poorly, hopefully finding one friend and DYING. That's exactly where I am in life. That's exactly what life is. MUSIC IS JUST ENTERTAINMENT. DO NOT TAKE IT AS ANYTHING ELSE. IF YOU RELY ON IT TO LIVE, YOU ARE GOING TO BE DISAPPOINTED AND DIE. Plus, it only covers one of five senses. It's time for Pizza Uno. Man, that Jack Daniel sure knew a spirit when he invented his whiskey! I love you. Please tell people to stop being serial killers. That's so awful, people killing other people. And rapists being cruel. WHY? Drugs and selfishness. SELFISHNESS. Misunderstanding the motives of another. Rapists ---- WHY!!??!?!? WHY!?!??!? Killers - even worse. KILL THEM. If one person kills one people, kill that person. WAR?!?! An excuse to kill. I edited the latest YRB. Thanks!

Did I even mention the album? The songs are great hardcore, but it's recorded live and crappy, so it's hard to listen to. It's hard to tell what's going on, especially in "Bricklayer."

Reader Comments (Dave B Wagner)
Do you go off on that murderer/rapist tangent everytime you get drunk? But dude, seriously, five whiskey shots in half an hour is going to make ANYONE sick. Just promise me you won't switch to gin shots - eerraggh!
God knows if i'm friggin drunk right now, but i just want to tell you that you're a great writer. Really, a great one. And i could say that you're a erally great prerson too, but i know you just from what tyou write, and i woluld seem sdtupid. Oh, damn, who fuckin cares, you'rer a really great guy anfgd i hope you the best from life. Never heard theis recordd but i loooooove zen arcade.
They reckon you should play an album 6 times before passing judgement, I've owned this for 42 years and played it 3 times. Man I'm drunk. (Alain Leost)
Impossible to listen to it unless you’re deaf and you like loud music that shakes you and the walls around you. Nice song titles though. The last song brings a change : “Data control”, I really like this one.

Did you know that in his novel “Speed Queen”, the writer Stewart O’Nan brings life to an heroine who reveres this album ? She puts it on top, better than Sabbath’s “Vol.4” and the Stooges. Pure fiction.
This is the funniest review ever in the history of New York. L:)

But don't drink that much devil juice too often, Mark. I'll tell you what's worse than five shots o' whiskey: mixing three Russian beers with two vodka shots in a two-hour period. Russian beer amplifies the power of vodka ten milliard-fold, and tho' Russians do it all the ding-dong time, 'tis poison for us. NEVER EVER try it. They have a saying over there: Beer without vodka throws money to the winds. It's like I say: Never believe any Russian saying regarding controlled substances. They are wrong.

Oh and Starostin, if you're reading this, skip the frick-frakin' reader comments on Zen Arcade. I don't know what I was typing. In the words of 40% of Shakespeare characters, I AM!!! an ass. Ass ass ass. Albeit a slightly witty, insane ass with British candy on the brain. Blimey.

Oh, the album? Well, it sucks a dick. Hardcore music without the hard. Noise without the NNNNNNNN!! as it were. But Zen Arcade is, in the words of Southpark Kyle's cousin, not beeeeeeeehhhhd. Get it first. Sepaking of hardcore, how should I send the money to order Work Bench Drawer? "Druckin' funk"--ghghghgnn I find that the funniest thing ever for some unexplainable reason. . .

Add your thoughts?

Everything Falls Apart And More - Rhino 1993
Rating = 8

But don't think for a second that alcohol is all fun and gams (though it is). Sure, I enjoyed my five shots of Jack Daniel and the wonderfully "not really here inside this body" feel that it gave me as I whined and dined at Penang Malaysian Restaurant and Pizzeria Uno just minutes after finishing my Bird Seed Record review last night. However, regardless of the great fun I had (culminating with some vocally profane sex with my wife or somebody's wife, it's all kind of hazy at this point), I found it remarkably less fun to wake up at 2:00 AM with the worst headache America has ever designed for one of its children. I tried to wake it off, doing my weekly online Job search and reading a little bit, but the pain just got wurster and worcestershire until I ended up (1) taking a hot shower, (2) forcing myself to vomit six times in a row, (3) taking another hot shower, (4) taking a hot bath, (5) taking two illegal codeine pills, (6) lying awake in bed in pain for another hour and a half, (6) finally falling asleep at about 8:30 AM this morning, and (7) having an endless series of horrifically violent, emotionally painful and explicitly sexual nightmares before (8) waking up to start my day at SEVEN PM tonight. So the next time someone tells you that alcohol is the answer, be sure and reply, "Not when you do five shots of Jack Daniels in half an hour."

In 1982, Husker Du recorded a great punk rock/hardcore album called Everything Falls Apart. 12 songs in 19 minutes, it was recorded in a studio and demonstrates exactly how manic and amazing the band really was when you could make out what they were playing. Bob Mould's guitar tone revealed itself as a sparkling, warm fuzzy orange blast of brushy wirey warm-to-screaming swishy chorusy ringing mesmerizing bottomless "RAAAAAAAAHHHH!" Grant Hart suddenly showed himself to be one of the most on-the-ball punk rock drummers in the Universe, locking with amazing fury and rigidity onto his bandmates' herky-jerky adrenaline-defying riff changes and making them into even more than they could or should be -- by his sheer smarts, speed and strength (The Three "R"'s!). For examples, check out his military chug-a-long in "From The Gut" -- dude, he IS the song! The other guys almost just support HIM in this great tune! Or the unexpectedly harsh sped-up "POUND/POUND/POUND"s matching the chorus of "Blah, Blah, Blah." The line-ending three-stomps and grindcore blastbeats of the teeny "Punch Drunk." And he so often (in that song among many others) LEADS the music into faster and faster and unspeakably faster territory, almost as if he is purposely hitting the chord changes early in order to force Bob and Greg to keep up with him. And they do! Man, what a unit. A powerful, angry, brilliant, driving blast of hardcore punk rock energy. And we already knew Greg was a great bassist, so his weirdo contributions to otherwise give-or-take tunes like "Afraid Of Being Wrong" and "Gravity" aren't all that surprising.

So that's what Everything Falls Apart was. Five maniacal hardcore tunes, a few odd angry midtempo numbers, a couple killer punkers and the ULTIMATE prelude to Husker Du's future developments -- the normal rock speed chorused-out emotionally wearing singalong title track. As they say when a basketball player shoots a field run, "It's good!"

A bucking GREAT sophomore effort, hampered only by a bland novelty cover of Donovan's already terrible "Sunshine Superman" (a bad idea later repeated by Alice Donut on their debut LP). Unfortunately, it came out on a tiny record label and was impossible to find for about five hundred years until Rhino Records (one of the greatest record labels ever) got the crazy idea to re-release it on CD as Everything Falls Apart And More. It was a nice idea that we all should appreciate, but I'm not gonna lie to you and say that the And More section comes within an arm's tail mile of equalling the heartbreaking works of staggering genius found on the original LP. What it is mainly is their first two singles, neither of which were all that good. The first one was a couple of really long midtempo Killing Joke-sorta industrial-rock songs, the second led by an overlong over-anthemic "political" punk song better left to worse bands (like Shattered Faith!). These weak add-on tracks pump up the length of the CD and save money and disappointment for collectors, but they also drag down the standards of the CD something fierce. Aside from a wonderfully poppy studio re-recording of Bland Steed Pecker's "Let's Go Die" and the dizzy, confused hardcore "What Do I Want?", these seven tracks can all go jump in a lake and get eaten by a fish as far as I'm concerned.

So that's Everything Falls Apart 9, Everything Falls Apart And More 8. So maybe buy the Rhino CD and use a scissor to cut off the last seven tracks. Then you'll have a non-working CD worth a 9!!!

Reader Comments
Holy shit, my home county (Worcestershire, UK) was mentioned in an old Mark Prindle review!

On topic, how great were Husker Du!? Yeah, they were okay.
Jeez, you wussy! 5 shots of Jack daniels & you are falling allover the place, you really ought to get out more. Then you let drop the fact that you had two pills, not just any old pills either. Were they E's, Blues, Brown Bombers, Valium? No, nothing as harmless as those, they were actually.....wait for it...... fucking headache tablets! You pathetically tried to glamourise this as though you are some hard drinking, pill popping junkie, perfectly in tune with most rock stars and uniquely qualified to write reviews! Cut the shit & just stick to record reviews, which, by the way, you do better than most!
Mark! Surely you're not including In A Free Land among those tracks that can "go jump in a lake"!!!

If you are then all those things people said about you on the AC/DC page are true!
Hey Mark, I’m gonna have to stick up for And More here. First off, Amusement is definitely one of my favorites, particularly because the Huskers would never sound like this again. Everything I’ve read says how they were trying to fit in with what was on college radio at the time, but to me it sounds more like the kind of song college rock bands like Pavement or Sebadoh would try to write ten years later than it does Public Image Ltd. Ahead of it’s time I say! Yeah, maybe it’s over-anthemic but that just makes it all the more fun to drunkenly rock out to in my tinny apartment. And I love Do You Remember? because they actually sound like a normal punk rock band here. It’s raw, it’s catchy, gotta love it.

Add your thoughts?

Metal Circus EP - SST 1983
Rating = 8

GO GO GO! QUEEN WASP GO! Metal Circus keeps the hardcore coming and the sissy music shoved in the backseat under the marijuana tree. Let's stop for a moment and discuss hardcore music. It's FAST. It's EXCITING. It's LOUD. It's FUN. It's GROWLY. It's DISTORTED. It's EMPOWERING. And when done well - really really well - it's EMOTIONAL and SMART and BRILLIANTLY PERFORMED. At this point in their career, Husker Du were frucking GODS of hardcore. This is really really hard to believe considering how sissyass they were by the end of their career, but christ a-treeso-blappinroll, Bob Mould sounds like the angriest, most anxiety-ridden screaming pill-popping schizophrenic weirdo in musical history in eye-gougingly ass-kicking anthems of desperation and bitterness like "Real World" and "Deadly Skies." Especially appreciated to me personally are his spiteful words against such sick societal subsegments as violent anarchists ("You want to change the world/By breaking rules and laws/People don't do things like that/In the real world at all!"), impotent pacifists ("I made a sign to carry to show that I really care/I've heard it does some good if the television people are there") and hopeless alcoholics ("Hundred bottles on the wall/You wonder if you can drink them all/Gotta go home at 1:00 AM/The bottle wins the battle again").

And sure, Bob doesn't provide any alternatives to these ways of living, but at least he's a really clever wordsmith when flipping them a lyrical bird! Plus the songs tear ass, while at the same time bringing in some melodic "pop" elements -- the unforgettable singalong chorus to "It's Not Funny Anymore," the goosepimplingly soaring guitar intro/break of "Real World," the American Hardcore co-opting of Poguesy Irish beer-drinking anthemics in the chorus of "First Of The Last Calls." See, I don't mind pop elements. I don't even mind pop MUSIC. I just personally feel that Husker Du were a better hardcore band than they were a pop band (to be discussed later). And it's too bad that Land Speed Record was recorded and mixed so horribly, because it too would likely have been a great hardcore album given the opportunity.

Another interesting thing to note (if it's true) is that (according to my source, the mysterious "E.L.") the key songwriters of the band (Bob and Grant) were lovers. If it's not true, they still both wrote great songs (though Grant's reedy voice wasn't anywhere near as powerful as Bob's low-ish growling howling shrieking hardcore vocal blast). But that's in the past. Both men are now happily married to women with 28 children each and going to church.

Man, this EP KICKS! Seven songs, half hardcore/half not, including the much-talked-about "Diane," a slow repetitive song from the point of view of a rapist/murderer. I wish I could say I find this song as disturbing as a lot of other folks apparently do, but aside from the shockingly blunt first verse, it's a pretty weak song in my opinion. I mean, what the hell kind of rhyme is "You're the cutest girl I've ever seen in my life/It's all over now, and with my knife"? That sounds like something a 13-year-old would write. Who knows, maybe it was a joke. People are jokesters in this life, and often in others too!

Hey, if you just joined us - check out the "guitarwork" in the "chorus" of "Out On A Limb." That is the epitome of smart humor in songwriting, whether it was intended as humor or not (I hope it was, for Tim Conway's sake! He based his entire Dorf repertoire on that "guitarwork"!)

It only has seven songs though. If it had more, maybe it would suck. Interestingly, by the way, this album is neither metal nor a circus. I'm VERKLEMPT! Tawk Amongst Yaselves! We ahh heah to pump (clap) you up! 'Ello moy name is Simon! I like to do drawrings! Yeah! That's the ticket! I must say! You look MAHvelous! Jane, you ignorant slut. Oh! Never mind! It's ALWAYS something! Hello I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not. DAAAA Bears! No way, Garth! Way! No way! Way! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! No Pepsi, two cheeps! We are two WILD and CRAZY GUYS! Well... isn't that special? I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me! Touch my monkey!

Dude, I just wrote like a whole season there. "It's Not Funny Anymore" indeed!

Reader Comments (Alain Leost)
Real killer. What a shock ! Perfect poisoned pop.You’re right to notice that Bob Mould is singing perfectly for this kind of metaamphetamined record. Here they put some surprising good sense in the words “Real world” balanced with the apocalyptal “deadly skies”. Mould’s explosive riffs and solos are always serving the songs. The band at his best. At least 9/10.
Regarding the song Diane, I know some lyrics sound cheesy but you should take a drive down Robert street in downtown St. Paul along the Mississippi river and you'll probably see what he's talking about- it drifts from skyscrapers and yuppies, to bars Mickey Rourke in barfly wouldn't even want to attend, to a crazy looking bridge, to suburbs, to cornfields (until you hit the college towns)- still to this day the best place you could take a chick if you wanted to "rape them and kill them instead"
I got Metalc Circus, Candy Apple Grey, and Warehouse: Songs and Stories on the same day. I was so excited. I was more of a fan of their pop songs then hardcore at the time. That would change when I heard Warehouse. I can't believe allmusic gave this a 5. How can anyone justify that. I expect bad songs from Hart but even the Mould songs are complete shit. Anyway Metal Circus is awesome, one of my favorite EP's. Like all has said Diane has the greatest lyrics I ever heard. Even Hart's Its Not Funny Anymore is good. Mould is awesome as always too bad his solo career isn't. Well I only heard one song and it sucked dick.
your source was wrong. Bob and Grant were never together, according to azzerad's "our band could be your life."

In Grant's words, "it would have been fucking bullshit."

metal circus is great. my favorites are "real world," "first of the last calls" and "it's not funny anymore."

Add your thoughts?

* Zen Arcade - SST 1984 *
Rating = 10

I need to address something off-topic, because it's kind of eating at me a little bit. A woman on the Neal Morse message board named "ProgMama" writes, "IMHO, this guys biggest problem is that he seems to think he's some gonzo genius. I think he's closer to crackpot than maverick. When the writing style obscures the message, it's time to edit." And she's talking about ME! Granted, most of the people on the Neal Morse message board hate my guts because I called them a bunch of fairies or whatever, but she's honestly a little too close to the truth for me to write it off as a peeved fan. To address your (and her) concerns, I myself do NOT consider myself either "gonzo" or a "genius." I hate the term "gonzo" and dislike most writing that is considered "gonzo." If I fit into that category, that's unfortunate, but really all I am is a guy who enjoys creating writing that he himself (me, I) consider(s) interesting. I actually AGREE with her that I'm more "crackpot" than "maverick." But then I find crackpots more interesting than mavericks, so maybe that's what I've been unconsciously going for, who knows. And she really hits the nail on the head when she says that my writing style obscures the message. But see -- I don't really HAVE that much of a message. If I did, I'd be a political orator or a philosopher or something, not some guy who writes record reviews for fun. If my views on the albums are "obscured" by my style, then either you don't LIKE my style (in which case, you needn't return) or you're not looking closely enough. Here's a hint: if it's about MUSIC, it's "the message." If it's about ass dildos, it's "not the message."

Now let's discuss hardcore. A lot of so-called experts claim that hardcore is for kids - that when you grow up, you have to either give it up or remain arrested in adolescence. Well, speaking as a guy who's been starring in hardcore pornography films since I was eight years old, I'm here to

A lot of so-called texperts claim that hardcore punk is for kids - that when you grow up, you have to either give it up or remain arrested in adolescence. I don't agree with this claim even a little bit, and have always seen it as these individual critics' attempts to color their own changing musical tastes as some sort of maturing process. I'm 30 and I still love good hardcore. Granted, there's a ton of BAD hardcore, but certainly not any more than there is bad blues-rock or bad power pop or bad indie rock. Every musical genre is going to feature a handful of extremely talented artists and a literal assgrab of ne'er-do-wells. Do I plan to ever listen to a Sick Of It All album again? Shit no! But I imagine I'll still be enjoying the wonderful riffs of Minor Threat, Dead Kennedys, Misfits and bands like that when I get older and am losing my hair many years from now. Will I still be sending you a valentine? Birthday greetings? Bottle of wine! If you'd been out til

Zen Arcade is one of the most ambitious and successful hardcore punk creations of every times. My source ("E.L.") informs me that the three band members were addicted to three different drugs at the time they recorded it (speed, cocaine, alcohol, heroin, diet pills, Nevada, Slim Jims, gambling, nude men), and the impact of all that physical strain, mental drain and emotional pain comes through in a blazing set of screaming, anguished high-speed distorted blasts of unforgiving and unforgettable musical violence. Depending on what kind of person you are, the relentless amphetamine-and-anxiety attacks of classics like "Something I Learned Today," "Beyond The Threshold," "Pride" and the UNBELIEVABLE "I'll Never Forget You" will either fill you with the greatest existential panic you've ever imagined or provide an exhausting catharsis to the pent-up aggression that you keep bottled up inside as bosses, teaches and peers take daily metaphorical shits on the shoe of your psyche.

But Husker Du are not Nine Inch Nails, and would never leave you hanging on your rope, hopeless and helpless. Following twenty tracks of alienation, fear, depression, confusion, political corruption, social conformity and overdose death (I didn't need to know that "Pink Turns To Blue" is a reference to her SKIN COLOR), they look the darkness in the face and declare atop a harrowing backwards track, "DON'T GIVE UP, DON'T LET GO, DON'T GIVE IN, DON'T LET ON." Their final word on the topic is just one song later: "Highways fill with refugees/Doctors finding out about disease/With all this uptight pushing & shoving/That keeps us away from who we're loving." As Jim Rutledge of Bloodrock once sang, "It's a sad world," but as Jesse Colin Young of the Youngbloods once sang, "Everybody get together, try to love one another right now," and as Sam Cooke once sang, "What a wonderful world this would be." In fact, I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but right before they recorded this album, Greg Norton quit and they replaced him with Jim Rutledge, Jesse Colin Young and pbllbbbbbbbbbbbbbl

Hey! Who gave a Bronx cheer to my hilarious yet lengthy punchline? It was YOU, Mr. Typesetter! YOU YOU YOU! If you'll stop begging, I'll tell you about that song I sang to my dog tonight on the way home from Central Park. It read as follows: "There's a rawhide/At home/With your name on it!/There's a rabbi/Shalom/Bo-bo Ski-yotten-notten!" Speaking of which, I live in the heart of New York City and I tell you what -- I don't think I've seen this many "international bankers" in my LIFE! If you're ever looking for an "international banker," look no further! In fact, I often secretly refer to this place as "International Banker Town"! Oh wait, the album.

Though not every song on here would be classified as "hardcore punk," every track is "informed" by that genre. "Never Talking To You Again" is acoustic, but it's as bitter, pissed-off and emotional as any HC tune. "Hare Krsna" is just "Hey Bo Diddley" done up all psychedelic, but it's fucked enough to fit right in. Even the short instrumental piano pieces and guitar pop songs are ribs-deep in angst-driven desperation for a true connection with another person. I sure as heck felt this need as a troubled youth, and I imagine a lot of people do. "Broken Home, Broken Heart" - "Indecision Time" - "The Biggest Lie" - these are not happy songs about a wonderful life in the suburbs. They're howling shrieks of rage at a world that is more concerned with getting rich and coked up than being honest and caring. And granted, MOST hardcore albums do this. But very few are as emotionally effective and melodically memorable. And it ends with 14 minutes of hardcore/jazz fusion!!!! Like "Bitches Brew," but... HARDCORE!!!!

Man oh man. What a fucking great record this is. If Quadrophenia sounded like this, maybe I'd like it. Quadrophenia is a bunch of flabby show tunes for old people; Zen Arcade is a ROCK opera!!! Recorded and mixed in 85 hours. By three geniuses.

GAY geniuses, that is! Just like Albert Einstein!

Well, I don't know. I'm assuming he was gay. He had a mustache.

Reader Comments (Eric Sweenor)
Greg Norton wins hands down for the single worst mustache in rock and roll. Ergh! Worse than Freddie Mercury!

Facial hair aside, Zen Arcade's an unfocused, rambling, lunatic mess, but oh my god are there some great songs here! Can't you just feel a wad of spit from Bob Mould's enraged and geeky mouth whack you upside the head on "Something I Learned Today"? And following that with what might be my favorite Huskers song, "Never Talking to You Again", a song so incredibly simple and just seething in rage, all with only Grant Hart and an acoustic guitar?! And it ends with 14 minutes of the free jazz/punk bastard offspring of "Reoccurring Dreams" - that repeating guitar riff's completely ingrained in my know, considering I can't remember half the exact songs and some parts sound so similar it really shouldn't get my 10, but to hell with it - easily, 10/10.
The best album ever recorded, period. Out of ten, an ELEVEN.

BTW, your reviews of their first four albums are all perfect, but you underrate the next four, greviously. Folks if you add one star to each of the reviews below, plus at least TWO stars to the review of "Warehouse," then we're talking! A very friggin' consistent band, this, though yer right that the production on the first one and on the otherwise wonderful "New Day Rising" is a bit off, and that Warehouse would have been a TEN if it were a single album.

Grant is gay, too? I always figured that it was just Bob. Bob never used the word "she" in his love songs, but Grant did.

Oh yeah, and Greg DOES have the coolest mustache in rock. The only possible contender is a guy named "Lek Carabao" who plays for the Thai protest band "Carabao." Actually, they both have the SAME MUSTACHE, but they've both had it for about 25 years, so I can't say that one of them stole it from the other. Ah, mustaches. Speaking of gay... well, I disgress. (Ross)
Was Greg Norton gay? I thought it was just Bob and Grant... I kind of enjoy the irony of his mustache if he is straight. Kind of like the bloke called Beard in ZZ Top being the one who doesn't have a beard. Did I just mention ZZ Top? Shit.

Does anyone know what that funny little symbol inside the circle with the three horizontal lines means and where it comes from? I NEED to know. Email your answers to
Bob, Grant and Greg are all gay, plus the guys from FUEL, but let's not split (pubic) hairs over who's up who and who's not paying. We should celebrate the fact, that we've got at least 8 albums to chew over from one of Seattles greatest bands. A band so influential, I named my dog, "New Day Rising". A band so influential, I wanted to learn the drums AND sing. A band so influential, I burnt SSTs entire back catalogue. A band so influential, I started watching WWF. Pure gold. And although I like low fi as much as the next girl, some of the music here suffers, but who cares, get out of the closet and BUY this.

Comment: Zen Arcade is probably a good start

My rating is the first twinkle in Bobs' POPPY eye of 9's (Will Short)
You pretty much state any and all of my thoughts/feelings on ZEN ARCADE in your review. You're often my telepathic twin when it comes to these things. But, to the point, I'm writing to address Ross's ( question about what the symbol on the inside of the album means.

This is Hüsker Dü’s symbol, sort of like the Black Flag’s bars, only less immediate and a little more art school-y in meaning. As I remember it being explained by one of the band members (maybe in a magazine somewhere, maybe one of them came to me in a dream state)… the circle is the band. The vertical line running through it is the music, and the three horizontal lines each are band members. What’s interesting to me (having the superpower of hindsight) is that none of the horizontal lines/members meet at the same place in the music, just along different parts of the same line. The band had notorious rivalries, specifically between Grant and Bob, who seemed almost to be writing for two different bands by the end. So the symbol may be more representative than they intended.

What’s also interesting is that one of the horizontal lines, or one of the band members, is longer/bigger than the others. Aside from the obvious gay joke, this implies that one of the members is the most important. Is it Bob? Is it Grant? I’d say it’s Greg; he had to be in the middle of the Mould/Hart war. Of course, I doubt the band had their band future planned out like this when they invented the symbol, which looks pretty cool on a Metal Circus shirt I have of theirs, unless they were visited by George Carlin in a time-traveling phone booth...
This is essential if you are a fan of punk/hardcore and heavy alternative music. I personally can never listen to it all the way through and enjoy more than three quarters of this album at any one time. Some of the hardcore tracks e.g. Pride, I'll Never Forget You annoy me but I am not a fan of the genre (sorry alright!) Reoccuring Dreams is brilliant for the first 5 or 6 minutes but then it bores me. Hare Krsna is also boring. However, Pink Turns To Blue is awesome, as are the first three tracks and bits of all the rest of them. I'm sorry to make this complaint with hardcore aficionados probably reading but why did they have to use loads of first takes like that. They could have sustained power by using better takes without the annoyingness of mistakes left,right and centre. Great record all in all but certainly not a 10.

I give it an 8 because almost every track has moments of brilliance. (Alain Leost)
I got troubled the first time I listened to « Zen arcade », get used to it and now got knocked down everytime I put it. Yes, “I’ll never forget you” is the answer. Jewels of anguished, realistic and (not totally) desperate Angry Young Men. It’s a breakthrough album, about finding your own way (including sexuality. Mould : “I’m not the son you wanted/But what did you expect/ I’ve made my world of happiness to combat your neglect” ) , an initiation album. Sharp, speed and serious. Idealistic too ( naďve sometimes ). Catching some spirits of the 60’s ( a double album, “Hare K”, echoes of frustration, some improvisation and melodies ) and melding it in a new storm and thunder. It should be considered as a new stone in violent music history.
well mark if i were you id tell the Neal Morse bitch that if shes taking anything in rock n roll seriously shes only kidding herself. that and shes wasting time expressing her opinion on your site which is in my opinion as good on the the satire as it is on the admiration. its really sad that she needed to be heard.
I HAVEN'T HURDD A SPLURGING SECOND OF THIS ALBUM!! BUT I SAW THE FIRST PARAGRAPH!!!! YES!!! MARK, THAT BITCH TOOK YOU DOWN!! Ok... well, not really........................ she probably just got pissed at Mark here for being the ass that he is. But really, he's not an ass, he's pretty damn objective... which means his assness doesn't count.... as far as genius... I think it's pretty well clinched that mark is a genius, could an idiot have WRITTEN ALL THESE DAMN REVIEWS WHICH ARE SMALL, ANNOYING AND SUPERFLUOUS AT FIRST BUT ARE REALLY VERY WELL THOUGHT OUT? Could an idiot have come up with all those jokes, NO WAY IN HELL.... so the Neal Morse girl is some bitch who thinks she knows it all, the worst kind. But Mark, everyone, we all have to agree that she was right about the gonzo thing.
9/10. You betta axe somebody.

'Ey! You ever heard the Canadian phrase "Ye can't go through life worryin' 'boot offendin' people, eh?" Well, I grossly offended the Only Card Game Man, otherwise known as Forge Stare-you-down. And now I worry A LOT about offending him. And you can't send reader comments efficiently that way. So I'll just give him the land mine treatment for a few decades. He'll actually be very very pleased if I do that. For the rest of y'all, before you send reader comments to him, be DAMN sure nothing in your comment could possibly be construed to imply that HE'S NOT SMART ON A PARTICULAR SUBJECT. Us college academic types. Gah. When will we learn.

If you're curious, it had to do with a legendary rock and roll frontman that tried to be all hip and modern with the "cool kids" in 2002. That should be enough clues far ye.

And if The Zorge is reading this, (which he probably AIN'T), I still maintain that saying "Limp Bizkit and N'Sync are the same category of music" is an incorrect statement, and implies that one has heard neither. Yes, they both suck, and they're commercial, but Public Image Limited and this band both rule and are UN-commercial, and you don't see people lumping THEM into the same category. If by saying that, I seem to imply that you're an ignorant idiot, as you said, it's because I think you made an ignorant STATEMENT, which we all do from time to time, and shouldn't be used as an excuse to put words in my mouth. Getting all riled up over that is, in my opinion, not the most mature way to behave, not to mention a little over- sensitive and emotionally uncool. But that's just me. Sorry to pump the water out from under the bridge (to use a Big Easy term), but that's just something I had to get out of my system. I would send it directly TO you, but I'm guessing you aren't in the mood to listen at this point in time.

Have I gone too far? I've gone too far. WAY the crap too far. Sorry for using your site in this way, Prindle. I'm a schmuck! A white, pasty schmuck. With peanut butter and jelly on top. Mm, mm. This is my reader comment on Husker Du's third album.

Fire and damnation! If any one of y'all are interested in where Nirvana came from (and not from the Mischievous Little Elves That Sing About Salvador Dali And Are Therefore The Saviors of Rock and Roll As Kurt Cobain Claimed But Was Wrong About In My Opinion Dammit), this is IT. Hell, this is it for all of grunge. Along with Black Flag's Damaged, this is one of the landmarks of proto-grunge music, a cornerstone of modern alternative rock, and a rare example of NON-SARCASTIC punk. This is a deadly damn SERIOUS album, and if more of punk rock sounded like this, I wouldn't dump on the genre so much. Now, me, I'd hesitate to put the moniker "rock opera" on this thing, 'cause it don't sound like an opera in any way, in my onion. Or even a "concept album", in the Kinks Village Green sense of the word. It's a long hunkin' double album that flows well, and is meant to be listened to as a piece, but the same can be said for Trail of Dead's Source Tags and Codes (which this album seems to have been a HUGE influence on), and it's just a normal art-rock album. There's no choirs in the background here, no bombasticism, no extra instruments, not even a perverted showtune- ish feel a la American Idiot. No, I don't hear the operatics, me don't. Call this an art-hardcore-punk album, if you want to. Taht's what I do.

Taht--an amusingly named prostitute from Tashkent. Met her in a caviar factory, I did. After our initial hookup in the roe mixing bin, had to run into the Caspian naked with fish oil lubricant slinging everywhere from my long flopp

Don't be fooled by the "opera," "epic," "melodic" monikers, kids. This is, overall, despite its immense length, a FAST FAST FAST ENERGETIC LOUD DESPERATELY ANGRY PUNK RAWK album as a whole. 72 minutes, but played around 165 bpm nearly the whole time. Even the "slow songs" are frickin' up-tempo by any other standard. Which, admittedly, sucks a little of the emotion out and distracts from the melodies, which are usually pretty good. And that's the main reason why I give it only a 9 out of 10. Well, that and the irritating drum production. Hart's better than Ulrich, but you can't tell because the snare drum goes tappity-tappity-tap tap tap in its treble tappiness the whole time, the bass goes doodly-doodie-doo, and ultimately, only the guitar sounds as "RAAAAAAAH!" (thanks Mark!) as it should. Just that, combined with the ridiculously emotion-obscuring fast tempo of the whole thing, docks the album one point for me.

But other than that, WHEEEEE!! Ye know those nine EXCELLENT new songs that combine hardcore tempo with hummable melodies? They point to the future! Any fans of modern college rock will listen to this album and basically hear all their beloved emo-punk, just played at warp speed with worse production and harsher vocals. I mean, wow. I have never heard any album from the '80 's underground that sounds SO MUCH LIKE the modern rock we hear today as this one!!! Why isn't it on as high an "influential" pedestal as less deserving candidates, Mark? Why why? Loveless? Please. Daydream Nation? Ugh. Doolittle? BLEAH. . . (*runs to bathroom, gets jacked by Classics Department and hung by boxers from Willy Statue*)

. . And we're back. What about dat "What's Going On"? "1979" is only a PARTIAL rip-off, sorry Mark. All they did was steal the drum part and the first note of the bass line. This song is a shout-and-mosh-along headbanger (albeit a damned noisy one)--the other is a melodic goth-pop tune with an entirely different melody and guitar riff. But 'ey. They DID rip off something. You were sort of right there. But I like both songs.

By the way, Mould completely kicks ASS on his instrument. He's the Eddie Van Halen of punk rock--seriously. He just takes a slightly more abrasive guitar tone and solos in the twelve-tone scale, not the tonic. But. . . wow. UnBELIEVABLY fast fingers on the fretboard there. Gah. If more underground guitar players (for that matter, more MAINSTREAM guitar players too) had this man's skill and technique (not to mention his melody writing), the '80's would be a far better decade. I expected him to be just another collegey-art-school raw unskilled minimalist with a serious Greg Ginn hangover. How wrong I was, M.P. How wrong I was.

But all these songs put together aren't enough to push this album up to a nine. It's the closer, "Reoccurring Dreams." Acid rock, reborn and updated for the punk generation. The wank-a-thon to put Cream in their mothafuckin' PLACE. I'm not goddamn kidding. Fourteen minutes long, and I wouldn't remove a second of it. By FAR the best song on the album, and one of the greatest instrumental jams in rock history. Wow. Or as you say, wos.

Am I evil? Ask Metallica--they know. They released THEIR landmark of non- sarcastic emotional hard rock the same year. This ain't a complete masterpiece, kids, but it IS proof that punk rock can be serious, un-snotty, non-nihilistic, un-annoying, emotional, and pretentious to a degree without losing any of its ass-kickage or pure rockin' power. AND that some of it sounds like today's music!! THIS is the foundation for the grunge generation. Much other '80's underground rock is just dadaist and annoyingly ivory-tower--this is stuff we all can relate to. Get THIS FIRST, alternative nation kids, if you wanna get introduced to the underground.

But I ain't takin' that Quadrophenia comment lyin' diz-own. Actually, I think the way Mark phrased it was very apt. "Quadrophenia is a bunch of flabby show tunes for old people"--well, I think that implies if you can tolerate show tunes, you'll love it. Get both albums right now!! Before Grant Hart and Keith Moon's ghost unleash their Machine Gun Drum Combos on you!! Does it hurt you when they do that!!. . . ?

Oh, and if you have the opportunity, get Black Flag's debut, too. It's slightly better than this album, I sink. Kitchen.
"Zen Arcade" is one of the best albums I've heard - certainly among the absolute top-dollar best of the '80's, and outdoing much of what passed for alternative in the '90's. The amount of pure songwriting genius, musical chops, and pure emotion these guys had is truly fearsome. Bob Mould screams harder and better than Henry Rollins on most of the Black Flag albums and plays guitar better than Greg Ginn while he's at it (and I'm just talking solos here - riffs are a joke in front). Greg Norton sails along with the bass in the background - he's the real grounding of the band - and Grant Hart plays drums faster than Racer X drives and sings like a punk McCartney. I mean, how could you lose with a band like this? True, they weren't nearly this good before (although the "Metal Circus" EP was a prime indicator that they were much more than the average hardcore band), but this kind of great leap forward is something that happens to only the most talented rock bands. "Something I Learned Today" is a classic opener, and introduces the Husker Du sound - thin but hellaciously fast drums, nearly strummed bass, a cloud of hissing, white-noise-edged guitar distortion, and Mould's hard-edged, righteously angry vocals. Along the way, this basic sound - Husker Du's version of hardcore - is moulded (pun intended) into different forms, taken to different places, sometimes pushed to the breaking point, exploded, and always granted (pun intended) the gleam of true, unerring melodicism. There are too many highlights to count, but my favorite songs are "I'll Never Forget You" and "Pink Turns To Blue."

(Postscript: About Rollins - don't worry. The early Rollins Band albums (Life Time and Hard Volume) are so far beyond the pale that Rollins easily retains his claim as having been one of the most angry vocalists on the planet (certainly more than Mould, with stuff like "Turned Inside Out."). Black Flag, though...yeah, "Damaged" and "My War," but "Slip It In" and everything after that with the Flag? Not even close.)
Well I don't think I'm contributing much since this album already has like 9845345939587 comments... but who cares right! OK first of all Greg Norton was NOT gay, people only assumed that because of his (AWESOME!!!) mustache. It's actually pretty funny how the whole 'stache started out. On one of their tours or something Greg forgot to pack a razor so he ended up growing a mustache. After it got longer it started to get in his mouth when he played, so one day he was complaining about it to then Black Flag's Dez Cadena and he replied, "Man if it's getting in your mouth, you should just curl it up!" HAHAHA great story huh?

This was the very first Husker Du I ever heard. When I heard it I was like, "Not bad." But after i heard more i grew to love these 3 guys. I think my favourite MIGHT have to be Land Speed Record but maybe not because of the horrible quality, but still, THIS ALBUM KICKS!! :D
My pick for the most over-rated album of all time. I just do not get the attraction. I bought this back in ’87 after hearing some Husker Du I really liked. I listened to it once, hated it, and filed it away forever. Then about two years ago I saw it cheap at a used CD store and bought it again to give it another try, thinking maybe I had judged it too harshly. No, I was right the first time. I’m all for being distorted and atonal but let’s have some good songs too. It is true, however, that Husker Du put out one of the great double LP’s (as it was originally released) of all time, it’s called Warehouse:Songs and Stories.
Greg Norton may have had the worst facial hair situation (take that, George Carlin.... seriously though, RIP George, we miss you) in rock n' roll but he sure could play that rock bass guitar like a Wesley Willis style rock superstar. And Bob Mould could sing, play guitar and write songs to the max as well. And Grant Hart, well, his songwriting was a little more hit and miss (those weak moments on New Day Rising and Flip Your Wig), but when he was on, he was on as well.

Zen Arcade took me a while to get into as I was more into Mould w/Sugar, mainly on Copper Blue and Beaster though ive developed an appreciation for File Under: Easy Listening lately too. But after repeated listenings Zen Arcade started to make sense to me. It did come to define post-punk, or psychedelic punk, or post-hardcore, or post-whatever the hell you wanna call it core after all. But most importantly it's a strong album through and through. That I realized I hadnt made a comment for. Unless of course, I made one years ago with a different email and forgot about it. If so, sorry about that. But I give this a 9/10, just cause I can, and I have a hard time choosing between this and Flip Your Wig, so I give them both 9s rather than giving this a 10. ah well, it's still pretty close to perfect. New Day Rising is kinda the weakest link, but that gets a high 7 or 8, i cant choose which now.

Zen Arcade should be checked out by all though. And all Sugar albums should be checked out immediately too. I'm listening to Copper Blue right now actually.

Add your thoughts?

New Day Rising - SST 1985
Rating = 7

The big letdown. How DARE they carry me to such dizzying heights with Zen Arcade and then follow it up with a bunch of messy pop songs with no emotional resonance at all? Who do they think I are? Special forces in an armored car?

Actually, it's not a bad record - but it IS their weakest yet. In an attempt to create a happier, more positive and poppy record, they've made the guitar tone even treblier than before while robbing it of its growling anger undertones. So now it just sounds like the sun itself has entered a recording studio and put together some tunes. The drum sound is tippity and shittity (not Grant's fault; just bad production) and most of the vocals are incredibly awkward, sung either way out-of-key or mumbled/half-spoken forty decibels quieter than the music.

On the melody tip (BAMM!), too many of these "pop" songs are either (a) irritatingly cheery or (b) so experimental and incomplete that they're impossible to get into. Take "59 Times The Pain" for example. Excellent anthemic chorus, definitely! But the rest of the song is a slow sloppy batch of clumpy chords and nearly inaudible vocals. Take "Plans I Make" too, if you have room in that condom bag. It's kind of a neat angry little buzzy thing, but for some reason they drag it out into boring feedback and guitar noise (and I mean BORING -- completely uninnovative and basically just crap) for like four minutes! Basically, the whole darn album sounds like a demo. Nothing sounds finished or even completely written! But then, it was their first attempt at straightforward pop songwriting; the Replacements kinda got lost in the noise and halfassedness their first try too.

And I hope you appreciate that I'm like the only person in the universe who considers Let It Be and New Day Rising drastically overrated and somewhat disappointing. This is because the majority of post-punk music fans have too much wax in their ears from all those loud records and shirts they're always listening to and wearing. I know it's not my fault because I had some nurse squirt a bunch of water in my ears back in college to get the wax out. It was kind of like an enema, except I didn't crap all over her face.

Well okay I DID, but that's just my way of saying "hello" to a woman. But that's nothing: you should see how I say "goodbye"!

I'll give you a hint: It gives new meaning to the phrase "I just poured 45 gallons of semen all over your head."

Reader Comments (Johnny Blades)
Not to diminish the awesome achievement that was Zen Arcade, but this will forever and always be my favorite Hüsker Dü album. Why? "Celebrated Summer" and the title track, both of which remind me of my first girlfriend. Ahh, memories. To answer your question, Mr. Mould-- yes, that was my celebrated summer.
No I don't appreciate it as both of the albums you've slighted (Let It Be and New Day Rising) are hands down two of the most important and influential albums in the past twenty five years. Has age, too much earwax or my collection of t-shirts tainted my opinion? Absolutely not. These albums mean as much to me now as they did when first released.

Perhaps its the locale...We Midwesterners continually mope and whine about how underappreciated our music scene is. And for a while, a few fucking stellar groups were releasing shit that was finally getting some attention by important folks in the bidness. We all proceeded to take the butter off of our corn on the cobs and lube our cocks for some hardcore anal action that brought a smile to Grant and Bob's lips. Zen Arcade got the Huskers on the radar and this album secured their place in history. If they merely followed up a dandy double with experimental and incomplete irritatingly cheery tunes, the Huskers would be a blip on the radar like, say, Game Theory. They didn't of course, and New Day Rising remains either number one or two in the Husker's catalog.

And now a quick comment about the production: It's an accurate reflection (for better or worse) of how the trio sounded live. Hart's cymbals were way up in the mix and his pussy Slingerlands only managed a meager tipity tap with a little bit of bass drum thrown in to help Norton keep time. Meanwhile, Mould's Gibson sliced through everyeverything leaving us with humbucker hearing for days after the show. It's no wonder that the vocals sound buried...They were thanks to Bob. So don't fault the production; Spot was never much of a producer anyway, instead focusing his efforts on documenting the band's sound in the shortest amount of studio time possible. And while the band's tinny sound can cause a bit of listener fatigue, it remains a characteristic that I've actually grown to appreciate over time.

"New Day Rising" and "Celebrated Summer" are essential post-punk tracks with most of the remaining album just a few measures behind. Duds? There are admittedly a couple. "How To Skin A Cat" is fucking retarded and out of place. "Terms Of Psychic Warfare" briefly lets the listener know that the Huskers actually had a bass player before running into a shitass melody that sounds like a lift from a Slade hit around the same time.

So Prindle's got me all riled up again even more than the dude that called Mould a "bald old fag" in Maximum Rock and Roll but not as much as my wife when she called Mould a "sellout" after learning that he wouldn't perform electric again because of his hearing damage. That reminds me: as soon as I'm done yelling at Mark for being a jackass, I'm gonna beat my old lady with homophobic rage for dissing my bald old fag friend Bob. Thank you, Mark, for encouraging spousal abuse through voicing your opinion via the internet. Now where's that coat hanger?
Good album! It could have been a GREAT album, though. Why not a great album? For one, the production is really, the mastering in particular being almost non-existant, making it sound almost like one big noisy instrument. No big deal though. At it's best, the big noisy instrument is still playing a lot of awesome melodies with plenty of emotional resonance. But at it's worst, it churns out some completely unnecesary throwaway tracks. I don't really need "I Apologize", "59 Times the Pain", "How to Skin a Cat", or "Plans I Make"...they either make me bored or annoyed, but in either case I hit the "skip" button when they come around. That said, the title track, "The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill", "Celebrated Summer", and "Books About UFOs" are all gorgeous songs and definately some of my favorite Hüsker Dü songs ever. But there's also stuff like "Perfect Example"...the ride cymbal overdubs! sound cool, the melody is good (though the song itself is underdeveloped) but Mould's voice is muffled, and also even though it's a really pretty song, at some point during it's three minute and seventeen second existence, it begins to drag for some reason. Awesome review, Mark! I also never liked this one as much as Zen Arcade or Flip Your Wig. Those albums both succeed at keeping my attention span entertained, even if I don't love every single song on them, but on New Day Rising, the production is a lot to deal with, and there's too much filler, so listening to the entire album in one sitting can be kind of irritating. 7/10
I was disappointed with this one. I think the Huskers were one of the best melodic Punk/ Hardcore bands ever, and i consider Zen Arcade and Metal Circus gorgeus, classic albums, and i've grown to finally like Candy Apple Grey, but when i heard New Day Rising a couple months ago, i found it plain boring; the vocals are unfocused, the songwriting is uninspired, the (guitar) sound isn't very good. I actually like some guitar arrangements, but that's one of Husker Du trademarks. There isn't a hit of the caliber of "Something i learned today", "turn on the news", "first of the last calls" or "don't want to know if you are lonely" here , so i don't know why is regarded as their finest record. Allmusic says this is the one to pick from Husker Du. If i had bought this one the first, maybe i wouldn't be interested in the rest of Huskers catalog (i wouldn't know what i'll be missing!).

PD: I really like The Replacements "Let it Be", though; at least the songs doesn't seem underwritten (aside for a couple of experiments),and the vocal melodies are one billion times better. Is the only Mats' record i have heard and makes me want to discover this interesting band and research in their discography.
What was I thinking about the "tippity too-fast" comment??? Is that even grammatically correct? Jay-sus.

No, the problem with Husker Du ISN'T that they play too fast. I was wrong. It's that Grant Hart's tempo wavers all over the frickin' place! You just can't tell right away because of the sheer speed they're going at. But I checked--tap your toe to the beginning tempo of "Something I Learned Today" and you'll be about two measures behind by the thirty-second mark. He rushes the damned fills. THAT'S what was bothering me. So. A 9 for Zen Arcade--10 for songwriting, 8 for execution.

Check THIS out. I saw New Day Rising sold NEW in a BEST BUY in COLORADO SPRINGS for $11.99. A goddamn BEST BUY. In COLORADO. Can you believe it?? Well, I don't think it was worth the price, but I definitely disagree with yer rating, Mark; I think it's every bit as good as Zen Arcade. First of all, I kind of like the production on here, more so than on the other one. The drums have more of a garagey reverb on them, so the music sounds heavier. And the guitar, despite being so trebley it almost has an orange hue (as opposed to Zen Arcade's purplish-brown hue, and pop-metal band Europe's rosy pink and lavender hue), sounds louder and screamier than ever before.

Second, even though two of the songs towards the end admittedly suck the dick ("Skin a Cat"?? I mean, what the hell, Mould), the ones that rule blow anything on Zen Arcade out of the water. "I Apologize" almost sounds like SAMMY HAGAR would sound if he were good, "Psychic Warfare" precedes good Weezer by a neat nine years, "Celebrated Summer" actually lives up to its reputation (even though "Girl on Heaven Hill" doesn't quite), and I SWEAR I've heard the chorus of "59 Times the Pain" before.

But songs aside, what truly impresses me here is the band's understanding of how to make an album work as a cohesive whole. Here's the textbook example of three dudes who have NO idea of how to sing listenably, have NO recording budget, NO interest in being arty or sophisticated, record their entire album in a garage and probably in the space of ten hours on a combination of leftover Chinese food and severe drugs, and by all rights shouldn't be calling themselves artists, pioneers, or anything important of any kind--yet manage to create a monumental 40-minute piece of music all the same, one that impresses enormously without losing any of its sloppity-doodity floppy garage underground rush job status at all. AND that manages to overcome its handful of sucky songs.

And crazily enough, my favorite tune on here is one of said sucky songs. "Plans I Make"--well, what can I say. Overlong uber-noisy jam sessions just seem to flip me noodle nowadays. Bad vocals, bad production, bad, bad songwriting. . . and yet, all I can think on that song is, to paraphrase Lorge Parafin: "POWER!! UNLIMITED POWER!!!" And it ends the EXACT SAME WAY "Reoccurring Dreams" ended. That's cool. Do ALL Husker albums end that way? They'd better.

My only real complaint? Almost no guitar solos. What the hell, Mould. Tsk tsk. That's like Eric Clapton transforming into a boring country-rock shuffle arti. . . . oh, wait a goddamn.

Just as good as Zen Arcade. Eliminate "Skin a Cat" and add a song that isn't played at warp speed and you've got yerself a 9.5.

Words can't describe how good I think this album is! It is trebley as hell, which I normally don't like, but it fits the music here well. This shit is white-hot emotional feedback-induced nirvana! Yes, it drops off towards the end, but most of it is top-notch! "The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill" is an absolute mindblower! This rates just above 'Metal Circus' and 'Zen Arcade', which together are the only three must-have albums by them. Three of the best in Punk/Hardcore! Just ask Buffalo Tom!!

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Flip Your Wig - SST 1985
Rating = 8

I'd like to personally thank Grant Hart for ruining what could have been a PERFECT album with three of the objectively, non-biasedly worst songs ever written by anybody not surnamed "Joel" -- cock rocker "Every Everything," happy sloppy "Keep Hanging On" and moronic, out-of-tune "Baby Song."

Now I can concentrate on what a brilliant absolute GAS the rest of this amazing LP is. The mix is a billion times stronger than the last album; the vocals are confident, loud and melodic; the songwriting is 60sy Nuggetsy guitar rock beauty pumped through '80s electric distorted sheen; and it's not just a bunch of happy wimpy lo-fi fluff! It's pop, yes, but with INTENSITY and DRIVE and EMOTION. Lots of darkness too. Highs and lows abound, from the wet-selfingly cathartic uptempo bombast guitar repetition Heaven of "Divide And Conquer" to the ringing drama of "Games" (every bit as dramatic as the Nova Local track of the same name!) to the hypnotic blissful/frightened drone of "Find Me" to the beautiful but eerie balladry of "Green Eyes" (For Christ's sake, Grant -- how on Earth could you write a song this perfect, then turn around and let your smelly ass pen "Every Everything"?)

Let me try to succinctly explain my personal attraction to Husker Du, aside from physically, what with the mustache and the dumpiness. Husker Du -- and Bob Mould in particular -- create EXTREMELY emotional music. And I don't mean music that uses generically "sad" or "angry" notes and chord sequences to evoke an easily-predictable listener response (like a movie soundtrack or that last REM album). I mean that (a) he sounds like he's LIVING the songs he sings, and is willing to shred his throat to pieces to make sure you understand that his feelings are not just for your entertainment, and (b) both he and Grant possess the creative intelligence to put together guitar notes and chords in new ways that STILL evoke in the listener those same old feelings of dread, butterflies in the stomach, hopelessness, manic glee and all points in between. And this is the reason generic happy pop songs that would sound perfectly good coming from lesser bands end up disappointing me to such a degree when coming out of Husker Du. Both Warehouse: Songs And Stories and New Day Rising contain too many songs that are just that -- SONGS. Husker Du were better than that - they had much, much more to offer than Beatlesque verse/chorus constructions that anyone from Matthew Sweet to Weezer could pull off. And maybe it's unfair of me to judge their "okay" tracks so harshly, but how can I not? How can I pretend that "Keep Hanging On" has a reason to exist when the beautiful piano instrumental "Don't Know Yet" is on the same album? How can I enjoy an XTC-cheery throwaway like "These Important Years" when I know that they're capable of Zen Arcade? So really, it's their OWN damn fault. You stick four songs as fucking amazing as "Green Eyes," "Divide And Conquer," "Games" and "Find Me" right in the middle of your album, you're goddamned right that the rest of the album is going to pale in comparison, no matter how good it would sound on its own. I try to listen rationally though. Even if I have to listen to the songs individually or in the wrong order to really work out their interior charms. Still, those three awful Grant songs really do blow -- and Bob's "The Wit And The Wisdom" is too aurally ugly for even ME to sit through for more than a couple of minutes.

Speaking of "sitting through for more than a couple of minutes," I just realized that the wetness in my pants isn't urine -- I apparently left my paper bag of radioactive waste on the seat earlier and forgot about it. Oh well. At least now when my Chippendales audience calls me "Bony Ass," the air won't be thick with hyperbole!

Speaking of which, if this "bole" is so "hyper," why doesn't its doctor prescribe Ritalin or something? Ahh man! I'm RIFFIN'! Look at the size of my nose! Last week, fifty naked ladies showed up at my door to ask me, "Does this smell funny?" Sh-BING! And what about Michael Jackson? Who knew in 1983 that "Beat It" was a command aimed at 10-year-old boys? And "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"? Like what? A VD CLINIC? Sh-BIGN! BIN! OSAMA SH-BING! LADEN

Reader Comments
Personally I prefer New Day Rising. Okay it gets really shitty towards the end but then so does this. The Baby Song is like Chinese water torture while Keep Hanging On has possibly the worst vocals ever. Cheers Grant! I don't care for the instrumentals either as they both go absolutely nowhere. That said I love Makes No Sense At All, Divide and Conquer, and Green Eyes, which is just beautiful and undoubtedly one of Grant's very best. Games and Find Me are also really good as well. That's like half a great album. So I 'd give it a high 7. The Huskers problem was always consistency but I still love them for all the good stuff they made. Even though they did give us an album as bad as Warehouse. What are the ten good songs on that Mark? I reckon there are about three.
As my good friend, Wayne, life is like a shit sandwich and it's always lunchtime, Bell (hilarious ex bass player for punk band "Papakura Post Office") used to say, "This album is so flawed, you could put a roof on it". But I would always stick up for "Flip Your Wog" and say "Yeah the hideous reverb on the drums will date this rather quickly and the general lamness of some of the songs does appear to weaken what would otherwise be, BOB AND THE OTHER HUSKER DUIEINS, "GREATEST HUSKER DU DOCUMENT"

A word from that great lady, Mary Jules Blige (no relation).

Brilliant, you've hit the nail on the head with this review, and unlocked the answer to a perplexing question, which up until now has alluded me, why Husker Du were so good but everything after, basically sucks (in a gay friendly sort of way). It's the BOB AND GRANT SHOW. Bob needs Grant. Grant needs Bob, TOGETHER THEY ROCK, so lay off, "Every Everything" and "Keep Hanging On". You want bad? How about "HATE PAPER DOLL!!" or "WILLIAM HUNG!!!" or "WING"

Comment: The best bits must be nudging a NINE.

My rating is either an 8+ or a 9- depending on whether you hang to the left or the right.
I finnally heard this album this morning at school. And I like It alot. I like it already more then New Day Rising. Although I love songs like I Apologize, Celebrated Summer, Folklore the album does have songs that are just not interesting. This album does too, the Baby song completely messed up my flow. But even Husker Du's mediocre rock songs seduce me because I love almost everything they do. They are one of my favorite bands ever. So I give this album a 9 and New Day Rising a high 7.

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Eight Miles High 7" - SST 1990
Rating = 8

By now, we'd be crazy to not recognize Bob Mould's fuzzo-ring-scringle guitar tone within 32 seconds of its absorption into our soft moist brain tissue, but does that mean it deserves to steal the bass intro for The Byrds' awe-inspiring London-via-LSD travelogue "Eight Miles High"? That's a question we'll have to leave for the anthropologists and song surgeons who exist long after our lives reach their denouement on this immortal planet, Coil Earth. For now, it can only be enough to say that it does do such a thing, right or wrong. Probably right, since a cover is a cover after all, and not an original. A cover should give the coverer the chance to spread its legs and fly (crap) all over somebody else's imaginative brain disturbance. Especially if one is going to scream and wail as frightened-and-passionately as Mr. Mould -- "YOU'LL FIND THA-HAAAAAAT IT'S STRANGEEERR THAAAAAAANAN A KONNWOWWOOOON!!!!!!!!!" Has Roger "Born-Again Jim" McGuinn ever heard this cover? I hope so, and I hope he appreciated it. I hope he didn't find the screaming blasts of orange sparklenoise too "Satanic" and "non-biblical" for his church-washed sensibilities.

The rest of the EP should also be discussed at length, though not by me. "Makes No Sense At All" is one of the most terrifical of all Husker Pop songs, but it's (I think) the exact same version you can find on Flip Your Wig, Mr. Bald Man, For You're Wearing It Upside-Down And It Looks Like A Label Is Growing Out Of The Top Of Your Head. The other two tracks, which I guess aren't alpha dog enough to be included in the EP title -- OY GEVOLTA! I DIDN'T EVEN SAY WHAT THIS IS, DID I?

This 1990 EP release is a combination of two Husker Du singles: "Eight Miles High" from 1984 and "Makes No Sense At All" from 1985. The first b-side is a live rendition of "Masochism World" that has Jack Nothing on the ultra-aggressive studio version, but does at least prove that they took care to recreate the "extra-dragged-out beat at the end of each line" gimmick during live performance. The second b-side is an adorable singalong-pop cover of the theme from the Mary Tyler Moore show, perhaps influenced by Jello Biafra's now-legendary on-stage taunt, "We'll play the theme from the Dinah Shore Show. Who wants to be Dinah Shore? Whose altar ego is Dinah Shore? Oh, his fists didn't go up so quickly this time!"

And that's the story of how Jello Biafra defeated Larry Holmes to become the heavyweight champion of the world.

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Candy Apple Grey - Warner Bros. 1986
Rating = 8

Say! Is it possible that Bob Mould's been listening to the Wipers? Some of these songs sound like the Wipers! The endlessly steadily driving uptempo riff and no-empty-spaces wash of open and closed chord combination - that's Wipery! The Wipers are a great band, by the way. If you haven't heard them, buy anything aside from their first album or Silver Sail and you'll be set for life with chuggling Neil Young-style trains of distorted creative chord sequences to bring a dip to your eyebrows and a fever to your heart attack.

But let's discuss Candy Ass Grey. The guitar tone is completely impotent - a ludicrously trebly bright orange tone with no power at all. But many of the songs retain a dark minor-chord mood and uptempo rhythm that would go GREAT with the breakup of a teenage romance. I can imagine Junior now, driving his '83 Oldsmobile down the highway at 70 miles an hour, crying, screaming along with "I Don't Wanna Know If You Are Lonely!" because his "mature" girlfriend has decided she's tired of his neurotic clinginess, and that she still "loves" him, but isn't sure whether she "likes" him anymore. And I call him "Junior" because that's patronizing, and I like to patronize today's youth -- it makes them concentrate harder on their studies. My goal is to patronize them to such an extent that they study and study until they develop a cure for death that they'll share with nobody but ME because I'm the one who patronized them into being such brilliant scientists.

Half of these songs are as great as anything the band has ever written, and the other half are comparable but slightly lesser versions of same. The main problem with the record, if you want to nit(wit tooth)pick, is that most of the songs sound fairly identical, mainly because of the static guitar tone (so high-pitched you have to concentrate REALLY hard to make out the parts where Bob is playing notes instead of chords). I still think it's a much more moving record than New Day Rising though, even if its heights aren't quite as eyepoppingly eargood as those on Flip Your Jig.

Interestingly though, my two least favorite songs are the two acoustic songs --- which apparently everybody else in the world considers to be the record's HIGHLIGHTS! But "Too Far Down" sounds too much like Counting Crowes modern-folk hippy pot-smoking crap for me, and "Hardly Getting Over It" rides on a BEAUTIFUL line-ending piano/acoustic heartbreaker chord, but drags on and on and on for six minutes. SIX MINUTES! Do you realize how many girls I could nail to the floor in SIX minutes? (I mean, collectively, over the course of four or five years?) SEVERAL! They're all coming over to my yard and telling me my milkshake is better than yours. Damn right it's better than yours! And you should see my banana split (your wife in half!). And don't get me started on my Peanut Buster (Hymen) Parfait. Cherry On Top indeed!

If you like the Wipers, you'll like this CD. If you've never heard Husker Du, you'll love the Wipers. If you love Husker Du, you'll trust me when I tell you to love the Wipers. If you love the Wipers, you'll agree that Husker Du are from Minneapolis. This may not be hardcore, but it's aggressively delivered rock music, split pretty much 70/30 or 65/35 between happy fastness and forlornities of various tempoes. I recommend it highly!

In fact, I recommend ALL Husker Du CDs highly!

Except one!

Scroll down a little!

Reader Comments
There's something about this album I like, I think it's the general uptempo/simplistic feel, wall 'O' guitar sound (bright orange is ONE way to describe it) that they use, they almost sound like R.E.M. But they also, sparingly, use a piano and an acoustic guitar and although I'm not big on lyrics, (I'm sure in "Stairway To Heaven", Robert Plant sings, "If theres a bustle in your hedge home, don't be a law man, it's just a sprinkling for the bake queen") the way Bob changes "I scream, I scream, I scream" deliciously into "Ice cream, Ice cream, Ice cream" is worth the purchase price alone ($5). Yes sir, it's a great album, even if it's a pointer to their (much) weaker "Whorehouse" and later, the slightly overblown and wordy (except the superb "Beaster" E.P) Bob Mould driven SUGAR

Comment: Get this and have yourself a GAYE old time

My rating is a slightly balding (low) 9
More like a 6 if you ask me. Hart's 'Don't Want to Know if You are Lonely' and 'Sorry Somehow' are both fine songs. But by contrast Mould is really starting to sound short of ideas. I actually think 'Hardly Getting Over It' is his best song on here even if it is a bit too long and repetitve. 'Crystal' is also pretty good and a cool way to start their sell out period. However Bob's other songs really aren't up too much. 'I Don't Know For Sure' is a poor imitation of 'Makes No Sense At All' while 'Eiffel Tower High' and 'All This I've Done for You' are about the most forgettable songs the guy has ever written. (James Parker)
do you know what i think? i think this album is where grant hart fell apart as a drummer. granted (ahem) the mix doesn't help him at all, cos he's all about instinct and flurry and this shitty super-clean separation between bass drum and snare, with cymbals hissing and twinkling distantly behind, is guaranteed to show up his flaws BUT the amount of dropped beats, clogged fills, shattered punchlines etc make this record a real shame to listen to. i think its 'eiffel tower high' where he almost falls off his stool in the first four bars - check it out. by 'warehouse' he was absolutely ruined, or at least so changed from the percussive volcano of old as to be unrecognisable.
hey! i LIKE silver sail. and steve plouf is one of the nicest people i've ever met. and don't downplay sage's work by comparing him to neil young. jesus christ.

and the 'Everyone's Penis is smaller than mark prindLes Penis' is one of the funniest things i've ever read. holy crap.

i love you.
to previous reviewer "*",* it didn't come off to me as mark prindle knocking it as much as pointing out it's not typical of the Wipers sound, nor is their debut, which is strictly punk sounding (All the wipers albums have something to offer, even Follow Blind).* *
to previous reviewer "", it seems to me that your email isn't the only 'virgin' about you.


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Warehouse: Songs And Stories - Warner Bros. 1987
Rating = 6

Hold the first ten seconds of this CD to your ear and you'll immediately understand why I'm constantly calling it an asshole and throwing it at people. The first four songs sound like both Bob and Grant have been hanging out with Andy Partridge and writing the most irritatingly cotton candy sweet (and funnel cake predictable) shongs (truncated version of the phrase "shit-songs," tailor-made for today's "On The Go" generation) possible. Same high-pitched trebly guitar tone, but with the drums slowed to an inoffensive medium tempo and the chord sequences pulled directly from lesser bubblegum hits of the 60s. Powerless and depressing, even as they exist to bring a smile to the musical layman's face.

But then track five defies every expectation with an intro that pays homage to AC/DC's "Walk All Over You"!!! And finally - the toughness and darkness are back! "Ice Cold Ice"! Sure, it's a more radio-friendly version of their former anger, but at least it's a headbanger with a great guitar riff and unforgettable chorus.

From then on, the CD alternates pretty regularly between happy throwaways and sad, emotional heartbreakers for like five years until finally the goddamned thing ends. See, that's the problem with a double-album: it's LONG! If you've got a lot to say and multiple emotions to say it with (Zen Arcade, The Wall, The White Album, Tommy), it gives you the time and space you need to work out all your ideas. But if you just happen to have written twenty unrelated and stylistically similar rock songs, DUMP TEN OF THEM! Christ! If they'd just released the best ten songs as a single album, we're talking an EASY 9. But the other ten songs? Man, you line me up an edited disc with nothing but empty warm fuzzies like "Back From Somewhere," "Standing In The Rain" and "Charity, Chastity, Prudence And Hope" and you'd might as well ENTITLE it a 3.

And that's the basic problem with Warehouse: It's 70 minutes long, and too many of those minutes are filled with smiley children's music for power pop people.

Make that "Power Pop-Up T-Ball" people!!!!!











(scroll down)









































Yes it's true! This entire Husker Du page has really been a lengthy advertisement for Power Pop-Up T-Ball! A sonic sound button in the bat activates the unit and pops up the ball! It comes with a Rawlings "Fat Bat" and six balls. Its unique design puts control at your fingertips! The adjustable pitching angle lets the ball shoot up or forward for hitting or catching! Buy one now - for Christmas!

Note to men: Don't dip your own personal balls into the machine unless you want to spend the rest of the day searching your abdominal cavity with a coat hanger.

Reader Comments (Eric Sweenor)
Hmm, if you don't like how poppy this stuff got, you should probably avoid Bob Mould's solo stuff. Or you'll see a little light, I know you will...I can see it in your eyes...erm...I digress....

Can you imagine my surprise when I found a copy of this album, knowing the Huskers' reputation for brutal hardcore, only to find out the second song was called "Charity, Chastity, Prudence and Hope"? Still, I rate this one just below Zen Arcade. Maybe more just equals better with these guys. But they can't keep up the momentum throughout the whole 70 minutes and 20 songs. Some might argue they "matured", but obviously your pro-hardcore argument would slap that theory down quick - perhaps they just suffered hearing loss, didn't they? At very least they were breaking up. Anywho, very obnoxious trebly sound but some more great songs - very hooky stuff, although the rage is definitely dissipated for the most part. I agree with your opinion on "Ice Cold Ice", killer chorus! Another one I couldn't get out of my head, although I'm unfamiliar with the AC/DC riff..."Could You Be the One" could've been a great single, but it's a little generic, as I guess some of the stuff here is - good songs, but with a slight loss of some of the fire-spitting that you loved the band for. 9/10, lots of songs walk that fine line between filler and killer, but I still like it lots. (Rick Williams)
Interesting insights, but what is with all of the gay references? "Ass dildos", munching on shit/dicks/balls? Really takes away from the whole reviewing Husker albums. Who cares about the gay issue? Greg is marries with a kid and a new restaurant, by the way, and still has his mustache. Bob and Kevin have been very happy together for going on 12 years. Much like any marries couple. Do you have gay issues? (Chris T. Hamrin)
First I must say your hardcore listening is an inspiration because I am always frightened that I will be listening to Paul Simon or Brit-Pop or something terrible like that when I am "not in my twenties anymore".

RE your source who said Bob and Grant did each other:
In Our Band Could Be Your Life the dudes deny this. I can't really see why theyed lie. Then again if I were a gay dude in a van with another gay dude for months on end you better believe I'd be fucking him left and right, up and down, slow then fast, etc.

New Day Rising/Flip Yr Wig
It is stupid that these were released in the same year. There is a perfect album between the two. These guys were prolific, like Bob Pollard except even better because they don't pretend to be the Who. Personally, I like a lot of the pop songs. Even the throwaways would have been alright if they would have sped 'em up (even more, so I couldn't understand the crappy-poor lyrics). And you cannot deny the brilliance of the How to Skin a Cat theory - not only fine songmiths, but inventors of some kind of perpetual cat and/or rat machine. The production on these albums though is so terrible - I don't think you emphasized that enough. Who is this Spot guy and what the hell was he doing producing things? My theory is he is actually a dog of above average intelligence whose lack of aposable thumbs hampered his productioneering. I know Greg Ginn is busy with his cat farm, but can we get these remastered or something? Esp. Land Speed Record.

RE: Let It Be
I do not think this is overrated, but instead one of the greatest albums ever. Certainly nothing they did after it was better, they just got worse and worse until they released A Boy Named Goo. New Day Rising probably is overrated a bit, but it is still so much better than most everything else it doesn't matter.

RE: The Wipers
I never thought the two sounded alike, I will have to relisten now. People should buy the first three Wipers albums which come together for a low, low price. People should buy all the records Kurt Cobain liked before he shot himself in the face with a gun.

ok thats more than enough from me
Single album? How about a six song E.P. This is so one dimensional, that it's completely underwhelming, and although there are great songs here, (Climb Every Mountain, Yellow Rose Of Texes, Could You Be The One) they are mostly buried in such an unforgiving mix, that renders this album almost unlistenable, BUT if you hook into a couple of black Russians (the drink, not the down trodden indigenous people who have lived there for thousands of years and have had their culture exploited for little or no reward and have survived mainly on goverment grants and handouts, although most would generally prefer to stand on their own two feet) (1 dash of Vodka, 1 dash of Kahlua, some of that ice with a hole in it, top up with coke). NOW, imagine if Terry Date, Rick Rubin or Steve A1 Albini remastered this, REMOVING some harmonies, toughening up the sound with wicked fat bass, fixing up the drum sound and maybe ADDING some samples and releasing it as "The Husker Du Experience", What do you think, Bob?

Comment: A sorry sort of an album which could have been so much better, although I don't have the cd version of this (or any Husker Du) it might fair better on cd (More bass, fuller sound etc) so on vinyle anyways it just lacks something and my copy proudly states DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) WELL IT DIDN'T WORK! A quote at a liquor store "The problem with the world is that, their a few drinks behind" or "24 beers to a case, 24 hours in a day, coincidence?" And funny thing is I've proberly drunk LESS alcohol listening to Husker Du than any other band except The White Stripes, na that's not true, I've drunk plenty listening to them, especially that long blues song off Elephant, (bloody cheap burnt cds that people are too lazy to write down the song titles) that my learned blues expert girlfriend assures me is "the shit".

My rating is a temporary 6

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The Living End - Warner Bros. 1994
Rating = 7

One of the companies I work for ("Don't quit your day job!" "Okay.") does catastrophe risk modeling, see, and I remember last summer they warned us, "Hay, it sucks to be a Florida person right now, but just pray to your God's lucky stars that no hurricane ever hits New Orleans head on because if it does, the entire city will be destroyed." It was a scary thought, but for some reason I thought it would never actually happen. Just seemed too 'Doomsday Scenario'-ish. HOWEVER, now I don't know if you've been watching the news for the past few days, but apparently the l

This is bad stuff. An entire town! A big major American city! Home to Alex Fats and Domino Chilton! Luckily, the Bush administration handled everything like a true genius, and had plenty of food and water available within seven days of being made aware that the disaster was about to take place. Now I don't know what's going to happen in the long run, but one thing I do know is this: the lyrical content of the next Bruce Springsteen album.

So remember our New Orleans lost and hungry as you talk to your imaginary friend in Church (or Synagogue) this Sunday. And be sure to take note of what appears to be the key theological message here: God hates lower-class black people. See? He IS a Republican!

by Mark Prindle (and some newspaper)

In Biloxi, Miss., Bush encountered two weeping women on a street where a house had collapsed and towering trees were stripped of their branches. "My son needs clothes," said Bronwynne Bassier, 23, clutching several trash bags. "I don't have anything."

"I understand that," Bush said. He kissed both women on their heads and walked with his arms around them, telling them they could get help from the Salvation Army. "Hang in there," he said.


This piece of crap album I gave a 7 to is a live album from several different 1987 shows. What's crazy-assed is to see the wide range of careering material they played in their final year as a 66.6666667% Queercore pioneer. In addition to a Ramones cover and what I assume are three brand new songs, this lengthy tinny nightmare features one song each from Metal Circus, Candy Apple Grey, Land Speed Record and Zen Arcade, two from Flip Your Wig, three from Everything Falls Apart And More five from Warehouse: Songs And Stories About A Warehouse and a near-impossible SIX from New Day Rising. The guitars are loud, trebly and fuzzy, and the drums lead us all through a tall number of uptempo peppy numbers, but the bass guitar is a bit too quiet in the mix and who the hell greenlighted only ONE song from their best album//?/???/??/?/????//?/?/?/?///?/?/?//////?/??/?/?????

The three new songs are entitled "Everytime," "Now That You Know Me" and "Ain't No Water In The Well," and might best be described as "Growling vocals! Uptempo. Fun happy chord sequence alternating with angry one. Okay, not great"; "Neat bass line! Doesn't match the basic pop chords at all! Otherwise, worthless generic shit song"; and "Dull cow-midtempo-folk-punk. Noisy, substandard, glass of diarrhea."

Which leaves you with no reason at all to buy this. So don't. It has its share of terrific Husker Du material ("New Day Rising," "Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill," "Ice Cold Ice," "Friend, You've Got To Fall," "She Floated Away," "From The Gut," "It's Not Funny Anymore," "Powerline," "Divide And Conquer," "Data Control," "What's Going On"), but the live versions don't reveal any insights or expand upon any thematic elements found in the superior studio versions. These were concerts to ATTEND, not to listen to at home. If you don't own any Husker Du and you see it in a dollar bin, give it a whirl. Otherwise, what's the point? It's good, but so is me resting my ding-dong in your plate of spaghetti and I don't see you paying good money for that.

What's it like being such a tower of contradictions?

POST-SCRIPT AFTERWARD NOTE: I've gotten a few reader comments about my callousness re: the New Orleans thing. I didn't mean to be callous, and I have removed the main callous part (which WAS offensive and unnecessary - me calling New Orleans a 'sub-sea level hellhole'). I feel great sympathy for all of the people affected by Hurricane Katrina, as we all do. But, to address Jim's reader comment below (you'll see it in a minute), the reason that my The Rising review turned out the way it did is because I was actually PART of 9/11 in NYC so I thought maybe I'd have something interesting to share about how we locals were emotionally affected by the event. I don't have any such connection with New Orleans - I've never been there, I know nobody who lives there -- I haven't even seen any television coverage of the disaster. I have nothing to say about that tragedy other than what I said -- that it's horrible (worse than 9/11, quite frankly), that I'd heard about the risk of such an occurrence last summer through my job, and that George Bush's photo op was sickening. Other than that, I can only say that I feel very, very bad for everybody who was affected by the Gulf Hurricane, and I would prefer to let them speak for themselves. If you were personally affected, please send a note here and I will post it under this Husker Du review.

Reader Comments
Mark--You're the funniest funny in Funnyville that ever funnied. . . BUT I must give you some friendly vice in your ad.

"hopefully they'll just give up on that sub-sealevel shithole and all move to the top of a mountain"

. for your own safe tea, my friend, NEVER. SAY. THAT. IN. PUBLIC. BELOW. THE POTOMAC. Even in jest. A student from Connecticut said something to that effect down here in Houston in the cafeteria (those people in Louisiana are FUCKED in the FUCKIN HEAD for living there, we neah Hahtfahd are, ah, enlightened and have a Boston accent, er ah yes, etc.) and nearly had his head ripped off by the above-150-I.Q. people nearby. Bad timing, my firend.

No, seriously. You're really good at ending fires. Foland Ratzl said sogwaaiuiiiigfjsldkfj

Actually, there's a good reason for there to be a shithole city in that particular spot (besides which, a reason why the hurricane's going to really FUCK OVER the U.S. economy in the long run). It's the largest port in the country. Did you know that? Most people don't--they usually guess New York or Boston. But there has to be a major metropolitan area there--otherwise, the entire import-export industrial economy of the Mississippi Valley and much of the Midwest goes to complete and utter shit. And it will--at least for the next few months.

So EVERYONE tuning into this site, hope that cured you of the "why-the- fuckin-fuck-is-there-a-city-below-sea-level-in-hurricane-terrifuck" heebie- jeebies. New Orleans will need to be rebuilt, for the sake of the U.S. economy. But don't move there. Move to Dallas instead. Who needs hurricanes when you've got category 5 TORNADOES!! Yee-haw!

So. . . Husker Du. I have still to submit my reader comment on Buddhist Video Game Center. It's a nine by the way. Did they ever perform THAT album live in its entirety, Mark? Because IF THEY DIDN'T. . . (*shakes fist in Homer Simpson manner*)
I'm still reeling at the magnitude of that Hurricane Katrina nightmare. I mean, in the past couple of years, hurricanes have been coming every weekend like clockwork this time of year. Frankly, it scares the crap outta me. I'm not an "environmentalist" by any means, but I can't help but wonder if our systematic abuse of our natural resources over time has something to do with all this. I know there's a lot of speculation on CNN about how the potential disaster has been known about for a long time, but public officials preferred to "sweep it under the rug". Funny - sounds like most places I've worked. Just don't worry about it until there's a crisis. That's the modus operandi for companies everywhere - is the government any different? Look at 9-11... Hold that thought. I'm not gonna go there.

Speaking of abuse of our natural resources, the raw materials used to produce "The Living End" CDs by Husker Du could have been put to better use as shoehorns for Laura Bush's shoe closet (I hear she's running low... what is she doing with those things anyway?). This CD came out long after the Huskers had called it a day, so lots of old fans like myself picked it up right away in the hopes of reliving some memories. It was good for one listen then sold back to the used CD market. I remember "New Day Rising" was a cool opener, with a little more clarity than on the muddy studio version, but after that it was just a chore. Though they did "From the Gut" - probably the best track on here, and well worth your time (get "Everything Falls Apart" for the definitive version though - go Greg!).

Good point from ddickson about the importance of the New Orleans port to the US economy - I hadn't considered that. All I know is that all the Atlanta gas stations had tons of fun shooting the price of gas up to the sky (over $5 a gallon at some places) last week in a noble gesture to exploit the gas-shortage panic (which wasn't as bad as everyone said after all). Nice work guys! Gouge away! Stay all day, if you want to! (Jim)
I realize that this isn't a political site, and I appreciate your viewpoints on a lot of things, Mark, so take this with a grain of salt.

I find it incredible that you've chosen to marginalize what has happened on our gulf coast in the manner you have in this review. Frankly, I would like to believe that perhaps your feelings are reminiscent of the ones you described so eloquently and touchingly in your review of Springsteen's The Rising, which is one of the most wonderful reviews you've ever written:

"So how do you start over after you've lost all that ever mattered to you? After you've lost them on national TV, in a manner so brutal that your mind can't stop imagining your beloved's final moments of terror as the building collapsed, tearing and crushing the bodies of 3000 people into unrecognizably tiny fragments?"

Surely you can see that this description could fit situations in Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Alabama. In cities that many of us have visited first-hand, and loved, but are now completely gone. Not damaged, or wrecked. GONE.

Instead, we get this:

"This is bad stuff. An entire town! A big major American city! Home to Alex Fats and Domino Chilton! ...Now I don't know what's going to happen in the long run (hopefully they'll just give up on that sub-sealevel shithole and all move to the top of a mountain!), but one thing I do know is this: the lyrical content of the next Bruce Springsteen album."

I've probably missed something either already on your website, or forthcoming, but maybe not.

I do realize that it's your website, and you'll do as you please, but again, it's disappointing.
geez. your country sure is having a time of it. ubeliveable that the whole new orleans disaster looked on the news like it must've been somewhere else, surely not USA. where was the money and the power yer leaders are always boasting about when it came to needing help right there in yer own back yard?! yer president don't care 'bout nothin' cept arayan bible thumpers. why, from what i hear the new supreme court guy that's just been appointed is about to make abortion illegal! minutes from now!! holy fuk! gives me the shivers, and i don't even live there. up here in (sigh) canada we're too busy legalising gay marriage and decriminalizing pot. thank the mighty elk that fundamentalism is small potatoes up here.

but husker du is the best band i never saw that i wished i saw. my buddy played a show with them around the time that live album was recorded and he said they burned. praps yer right, that you hadda be there. i love live albums and when this one came out i creamed! but... everything is perfect about it except... except the music... what's wrong wit it? ah hell, all's i need is that very beginning where bob says "hello" or something and cranks out that first big chord and a half. that's it. that's husker du right there. don't even need any more songs after that. s'all i need. the first 7 seconds of Husker Du's The Living End. One of the greatest ever and as of September in this year 2005 The Year Of The Comeback right about now the only band in the history of pop and rock music that has resisted a reunion. them and the Byrds. how swellegant. good luck
This album is OK, but you should really check out all the live Husker stuff on YouTube. Simply awesome band -- you can always feel the power and emotion coming through even when the sound was shitty. I don't know how they managed it, but there was always the sense that they were playing right out at the edge, with everything about to fall apart, but somehow it holds together and so much emotion manages to come through. There are videos on there going all the way back to 1980. Absolutely stunning band.
I actually SAW Husker Du play live. Twice! In retrospect, the 80's were a very good decade... if you could ignore Reagan and all of that.

Anyway, I bought this album on cassette when it first came out back in the early 90's, and remember it being quite a thrill to finally hear a live Huskers album (aside from Land Speed Record, that is). Annoying tho, about the only-one-song-from Zen Arcade thing.

But still, interesting setlist, in that it literally includes something from all of their albums. Because the Huskers usually didn't play like that. I never saw them play anything earlier than Zen Arcade. Usually, you would get a big chunk of songs from their last few albums, and that was it. But, I guess they let it all hang out on their last tour. Wish I had seen it.

Otherwise, though, it sounds pretty much like I remember the Huskers sounding: loud, volcanic, ragged, trebly as hell, but they could actually reproduce those little sonic explosions live, complete with the melodies mostly intact.

I DO get yer point about "These were concerts to ATTEND, not to listen to at home." Definitely. Most of the time, they were raw enough in the studio, making live albums almost redundant. Live, they were a volcano that pinned you against the wall, but you can't really get that effect at home. I also don't know why Grant's drums suddenly get super-loud and reverbed on a few odd tracks, then suddenly return to normal on the next track--that's a bit odd. And while it's neat to have such a diverse set of songs (anything from stuff from Land Speed Record to new stuff they never released to Greg Norton's growly little B-side Everytime), this is probably not the best live representation of the Huskers that they could have come up with. A well recorded, explosive set from the Flip Your Wig or Candy Apple Grey tour would probably make this album seem pale in comparison.

But... this is still pretty damn good, IMHO. Non-fans should pick up Zen Arcade (or Flip Your Wig for those with slightly more mainstream tastes). But I couldn't honestly give this any less than an 8... even your mostly critical review gives it a 7. The Huskers were that good. And yes, whoever recommended the live songs on Youtube above is giving good advice.

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