MAGNET’s #20 Album Of 2016: Bob Mould’s “Patch The Sky”

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“Will the earthquakes shake our cottage to the ground?/Hear the silence, there’ll be no one left around,” snarls Bob Mould on “The End Of Things,” the strongest track on his strongest solo work to date. “Opportunity denied, now we watch it fade away/It’s the end of things, the end of everything.” These dire, desolate lyrics are enough to make you reach for the razor blade and fill the bathtub, yet they’re wed to the most explosive-yet-shiny pop Mould’s managed in ages. The moment Patch The Sky was released, I was in my own personal hell, mourning the loss of a cherished romance that had governed the past year, whose end was not my idea. And here came Bob Mould to the rescue, every word a live grenade lobbed back at the world, married to the incendiary melodic blast-punk he’d always done best. It was the greatest post-breakup salve this broken heart could’ve received, and the best Hüsker Dü record his initial claim to fame never got around to making. “All these dreams I can’t achieve/Brought me crashing to my knees,” concludes “The End Of Things.” “My descent has now begun/All the music left undone.” Thanks for throwing that life preserver, Bob.

—Tim Stegall